How to improve egg quality
On this page
- Lifespan of an egg
- Poor ovarian reserve
- Improving egg quality
- What reduces egg quality?
- Self-help book
There are several ways that a woman can improve her egg quality to improve fertility, prevent miscarriage and increased the success rates of IVF, even if they are over 40 yeara old.
In terms of male and female fertility there is a massive difference. Men on average eject between 40 million to 1 billion sperm compared to the woman that generally only produce one egg a month. Therefore it's critical to improve the quality of the woman's egg to maximise the chances of getting pregnant.
2. The lifespan of an egg
Knowing how to improve egg quality will improve your fertility and help your chances of conceiving and having a baby, where it's natural conception or using assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF.
Each egg has a life span of around 120 days. During those 120 days, the quality of the egg is based on the woman's general health. The human body is a survival organism, it will only support fertility if there is enough resources left after your daily needs have been meet. It doesn't understand that your job is secondary to your fertility, it just sees what's going out in terms of energy and what's coming in and what's left over for egg quality.
3. Poor ovarian reserve
If your overall health is poor or you have a low AMH level, stimulating your body to produce this many eggs can dilute the quality of them, making it less likely to reach blastocyst (day 5 embryo) in the fertility clinic lab before it's transferred back into the woman's uterus. Having poor egg health can increase the occurrence of chromosomal abnormalities.
If you have a low AMH level (poor ovarian reserve), you should try my top 15 tips below and allow several months before trying either naturally or with IVF.
4. How to improve egg quality
Here is my top tips to improve your egg quality:
- Take a good quality prenatal supplement every day
- Take DHEA 25-75mg a day
- Take coenzyme Q10 600mg a day
- Take NMN 250mg a day
- Take melatonin 2-4mg a day
- Don't diet. If you need to lose weight exercise instead
- Eat 3 meals a day and optimise your fertility diet with foods that are high in protein with lots of sea food
- Eats lots of eggs. In Chinese food therapy, you should eat like for like
- Don't work night shifts
- Don't sleep after 10pm, sleep before
- Don't exercise more than 3 times a week
- Have acupuncture weekly
- Practice mindfulness or meditation to reduce anxiety and stress
- Take Chinese fertility herbs
- Reduce stress by having acupuncture or practising mindfulness, meditation or yoga
5. Factors that reduce egg quality
If you're dieting, working or exercising excessively or don't get enough sleep, your body will be weak and there won't be enough resources to produce good quality eggs. To improve natural fertility, you need to improve your general health over the lifespan of the egg (120 days).
Avoid this things which can cause poor egg quality:
- Trans fats
- Illegal drugs such as cocaine and mdma
- Free radical damage
- Chemicals (environmental factors)
- Reproductive medicine (over stimulation of the ovaries and exposure to oxygen in the fertility clinic)
- PGS/PGD testing
- Freezing your eggs
- Poor mitochondrial function
- Poor overall health
- Oxidative stress, which your reproductive endocrinologist will try to minimise
It's especially important to improve the quality of your eggs before starting any reproductive medicine treatment such as IVF. Most fertility clinics don't think or help you improve your egg quality before starting fertility treatment and will start straight away and will stimulate your ovaries to produce around a dozen eggs.
6. My Fertility Guide
Read more on how to improve egg quality in my best selling book My Fertility Guide. Available in paperback and Kindle.
Lian F, Chen C, Xiang S. [Improvement of the oocyte quality with electroacupuncture in infertility patients of kidney deficiency pattern]. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2015 Feb;35(2):109-13. Chinese. PMID: 25854012.