Egg health is one of the cornerstones of healthy fertility. The health of your eggs (ovum) can affect whether or not fertilization and implantation will occur as well as the viability of a pregnancy. In the past is has been thought that we are born with all of the eggs cells we will have for the rest of our lives, hence the reason age can have such an impact on egg health. Egg cells are some of the only cells in the body that do not regenerate… or at least that has been the belief up until now. Recent research has brought up some promising new views on egg production – women may actually produce eggs throughout the reproductive years. Scientists have found stem cells within the ovaries that produce new egg cells (Nature, 2004).&(Heather Rodriquez)
Regardless of this study, age did still have an impact on the new eggs. This is due to the ovaries continuing to age, causing the “housing” for the eggs to not be optimal. This shows the importance of what we are going to cover in this article. Protecting the eggs you currently have as well as encouraging ovarian health through diet, herbs, supplements and increased circulation to the reproductive system.
90 Days: The Cycle of an Egg
Many women who are having trouble getting pregnant have been told by their doctors that their eggs are not healthy, or that their eggs are “old”. The options usually given to these women include using an egg donor, IVF, or adoption. But what most women don’t know, is that there are things you can do to help support the health of the ovaries and eggs, but it must be done for at least 90 days to have an impact.
During the cycle of an eggs journey towards ovulation there is a window of opportunity, a period of time when certain factors can affect the health of the eggs that are preparing for ovulation.
The cycle of an egg in preparation for ovulation is around 90 days.
During this 90 day period before an egg is ovulated, the eggs are changing and preparing for ovulation. At this time they are able to be affected, by both healthy or unhealthy influences. The eggs can be affected by:
- Blood Flow
- Proper oxygenation
- Hormonal Balance
- Nutritional intake
Blood Flow and Proper Oxygenation
Oxygen rich blood flow to the ovaries is essential for good egg health. Blood flow can decrease from lack of exercise, dehydration, and thick blood. To increase blood flow to the ovaries follow these suggestions:
Get at least 8 glasses of pure water every day.
Dehydration can cause your blood to become thick and decrease circulation in the body, as well as many other issues. Make sure to drink purified water that is NOT bottled in plastic. An easy way to get a head start every morning, is to put a quart of water next to your bed when you go to sleep. You can then drink a quart of water upon rising and you are half way done with your water for the day.
Find something to do that includes movement, such as tennis, walking, running, dancing, or fertility yoga. Exercise increases the blood flow in the body, brings fresh blood to all of the cells and helps to oxygenate the blood.
Massage helps to bring fresh, oxygenated blood to the ovaries and removes old stagnant blood. You can have a massage therapist perform abdomen massage or find a therapist who specializes in fertility or Maya abdominal massage.
Hormonal balance is essential for proper egg health. Due to environmental factors, stress, and modern diets more and more women are becoming hormonally imbalanced. If hormonal balance is off the eggs may not respond, the fertility cycle gets out of balance, and ovulation may not occur. Balancing your hormones is possible. Here are some ways to help balance your hormones and nourish the endocrine system.
- Cleanse the system of excess hormones
- Use the fertility superfood Maca
- Reduce exposure to xenohormones
- If your FSH levels are high the herb Vitex has been shown to help support normal hormone level
We live in a fast paced world, and being a woman today has many blessings, one of them being a professional life. But are we constantly trying to hurry up and rush things in order to meet all of our commitments?
So, if you are trying to improve your egg health, reducing your stress levels should be a major focus in your life. How can this be achieved? Well, first it needs to become a priority. Book some quiet time in your calendar for yourself. During your “quite time” you could:
- Go for a walk
- Take a bubble bath
- Cuddle up with a good book /Music
- Get a professional massage or reflexology treatment
- Drink some relaxing herbal tea, such as chamomile, kava kava, or peppermint
- Practice meditation
- Go to therapy
- See an fertility coach for support 😉
You could also create a ‘stress support system’ for yourself so you have a go to plan when things get stressful, and have habits already in practice so stress does not affect you as much when it does happen. This could be one or two things you do each day that become a habit. There are many options to choose from, make yourself a priority and create a plan for yourself you can put into practice right away.
“In a study of women who were not ovulating, one group received cognitive behavior therapy and the other group was just observed. 80% of the women who received cognitive behavior therapy started to ovulate again, as opposed to only 25% from the randomized observation group.”
Top foods for egg health:
Dark Leafy veggies
Foods that may damage egg health:
Non-organic meats and dairy
Low fat diet
During this window of opportunity, what you are eating can also impact the health of your ovaries and eggs either positively or negatively. It’s up to you. The types of nutrients your eggs depend on are found in a diet dense in nutrition.