Egg health is one of the cornerstones for 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.
The reason we feel focusing on naturally supporting egg (and sperm health) prior to conception is important is because it can impact:
- whether or not you can get pregnant
- if fertilization is going to be successful
- if the embryo will develop into a healthy child
- the future health of your child, the egg offers 50% of your child’s DNA
The eggs you are born with are the eggs you will have your whole life. It is not completely understood if women can grow new eggs as we age (men grow sperm every 2 ½ – 3 months). It is believed that we cannot, although new research on rats had discovered stem cells exist within the rat body that can produce new eggs. We have yet to see human studies, but this research is nonetheless amazing. Maybe one day there will be a way to help women grow new eggs as they age, but for now we need to focus on supporting the health of the eggs we already have.
There are ways to impact and support the health of the egg that will be ovulated 90 days from now. While many eggs go through the 90-day egg cycle but, most often, only one will mature and be chosen by the dominant follicle to be ovulated.
So, what you can begin doing now is support and increase healthy circulation to the reproduction system and nourish the body and its cells (egg and sperm are cells).
How to Increase Circulation to the Ovaries & Nourish Eggs (and Sperm)
Ample, healthy blood flow helps oxygenated blood and all of the nutrients you are giving the body through diet, herbs and nutritional supplements get to where they need to go.
Tips for increasing circulation:
- Take breaks: Take a 15-minute break every 90 minutes when you are working or sitting. Be sure to move around on this break, get up and do something!
- Practice Fertility Yoga: Fertility Yoga teaches specific poses for the different phases of the menstrual cycle and offers many benefits. In addition to increasing circulation, it can help with resetting the endocrine system and reducing stress. Consider learning more about:
– Restoring Fertility – Yoga for Optimal Fertility
– Yoga Practices for Fertility
- Exercise: do 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day (in addition to those 15-minute breaks)
- Massage: Fertility Massage is known to increase circulation to the uterus, ovaries and eggs, support the body in clearing adhesions, bring fresh oxygenated blood to the reproductive system and enhance the hormonal feedback loop function. Consider trying:
– Mayan Abdominal Massage
– Mercier Therapy
– Self Fertility Massage
- Castor Oil Packs – Castor Oil Therapy increases circulation and brings heat to the area, and is slightly detoxifying (not for those with endometriosis)
- Drink water: Being hydrated gets blood flowing, which decreases stagnation. This is important because many women have very sticky, stagnant blood because they aren’t drinking enough water. One tip: drink one quart of fresh water (add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice if you want) first thing in the morning.
Note: Massage and Castor Oil Packs are not for use during menstruation, after ovulation when actively trying to conceive, during IUI/IVF, or after embryo transfer.
Food & Supplements To Add To Your Daily Diet
These foods are specific for women and men, egg and sperm health, because they either provide minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids (EFAs), iron, folate or zinc, or they increase circulation to boost both egg and sperm health:
dark leafy greens
Dietary & Lifestyle Habits To Avoid
To prevent damage to eggs and sperm, here are foods and habits to avoid and why:
- Cigarette smoking: in terms of fertility it exposes eggs and sperm to high amounts of free radicals
- Caffeine: consuming more than 2 cups a day has been linked to increased risk of miscarriage
- Alcohol & Sugar: both cause extreme spikes in blood sugar, which directly affects hormonal balance
- Non-organic meat and dairy: these animal products contain and then share with those who consume them concentrated amounts of pesticides and added hormones that are given to these animals to make them grow quickly
- Soda: as it contains both caffeine and concentrated sugar, but also many artificial ingredients
- Low-fat foods: Healthy fats are needed for healthy hormone production and most low-fat products replace the flavor that fat provides with sugar
- Processed foods: these contain lots of genetically modified (GMO) soy and corn syrup and unhealthy trans fats
In addition to the reasons listed above, another reason to naturally support egg health is that it is something you have control over. We want to empower you, to give information on the things you can do for yourself. Protecting the integrity of your DNA, the genes you will share with your child, is in your control! The bonus: Preconception care is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give to their child!