There are so many factors to consider when making the decision to conceive. Your reproductive health, your partner’s reproductive health, family history, timing, finances, diet etc. Once you’ve made the decision to try to have a baby it’s up to you, your partner, and your doctor to set you up for success and give you the best chance at conception. But what does that entail?
One important factor that you may not have considered is egg quality. Eggs are eggs, right? You’re either producing them or you’re not, right?
While some women suffer from irregular periods that make conception a bit more complicated, the regularity with which you produce eggs does not necessarily impact the quality of those eggs.
So once your menstrual cycle is under control, how can you ensure your eggs are healthy?
Here are a few things to consider…
A few DON’Ts
Smoking – This is first on the list, and for good reason. Not only is smoking something you should completely avoid for your general health anyway, it’s also a dangerous habit that could irreversibly damage the quality of your eggs and cause other serious reproductive issues.
Caffeine and alcohol – While these two substances are not generally considered to be as dangerous to your reproductive health as smoking, they can both negatively impact egg quality if consumption is not closely monitored or cut out completely.
Stress – There’s a reason stress is called the silent killer. We humans have a way of coping with stress that allows us to almost ignore it completely, making it difficult to even know when it’s happening. But, by staying self aware and avoiding situations that have historically caused you stress, you stand a better chance of improving your egg quality. While it’s impossible to avoid stress completely, try coming up with different coping tools, like breathing exercises, meditation or affirmations, to get you through it.
A few DO’s
Eat healthy – This should go without saying, but maintaining a healthy diet will improve your overall health and, as a result, your egg and reproductive health will improve as well. When possible eat organic, but when you can’t, stick to fruits, veggies, dark leafy greens, whole grains, and low fat meats like chicken.
Take your vitamins – High up on the “Beneficial Supplements for Egg Health” list are folic acid, vitamins A and E, and any number of antioxidants. There are a number of over the counter supplements available that combine a variety of helpful vitamins into one daily dose. Before taking any sort of supplement however, you should speak with your doctor.
Stay fit – Getting in your exercise is much like eating a healthy diet. Maintaining a healthy level of physical activity improves your overall health and in turn, your egg quality. Work with your doctor to determine what a “healthy level” of physical activity looks like for you and your body’s needs.
Acupuncture – While the benefits of acupuncture for egg quality and reproductive health are still up for debate, many women have reported success with acupuncture when other methods failed. Talk with your doctor about whether or not this could be an option for you
Preconception Detox – Some doctors recommend completing a preconception cleanse or detox. This can include drinking at least 70 oz of water a day, getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night, having lots of green juices and/or smoothies packed with antioxidants and vitamins, and elimination of processed foods. Talk to your doctor about a cleanse that could work for you.
It’s amazing how something as small as an egg can mean something so big for you and your growing family. Make sure you do everything you can to build the best foundations for a successful conception.
For more on Improving Egg Quality, listen to my podcast, Pregnant Pause Radio!
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