Egg quality matters for fertility.
Women are born with all the egg cells they will ovulate in their lifetime, & the ovarian reserve slowly declines with age. The quality of the remaining eggs also declines, and poorer egg quality increases the risk of infertility and miscarriage.
Whether you are trying to conceive naturally or via IVF, better egg quality means better chances.While you can't change the number of eggs you have, you can influence egg quality.
Egg quality diet: 3 months minimum !
It takes 3 to 4 months before ovulation for an egg cell (follicle) to mature and grow in size. (For more info, read our article: acupuncture for fertility: how long does it take?) The growing follicle requires nutrients and energy from the surrounding environment.
By improving your diet and lifestyle during this approximately 90 day time period before ovulation, you can improve egg quality and increase your chances of a healthy and successful pregnancy.
Some women with conditions like PCOS might need to persevere for even longer.
% of abnormal eggs
High Fat, Low carb
A high-fat, low-carb diet helps to improve overall fertility and egg quality by:
balancing reproductive hormones
When hormones are imbalanced (a common symptom of hypothyroidism, or of PCOS), the ovaries don’t function properly, and eggs mature at a lower rate and quality.
We usually recommend a Mediterranean- type diet, that includes a lot of organic veggies and fruit, beans and lentils, whole grains, and some clean protein.
Antioxidant Rich Foods
Antioxidants are molecules that protect your eggs from damage and oxidative stress. Unfortunately, women with conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome have higher levels of oxidative stress and lower antioxidant levels which may result in poor egg quality and fertility problems (1)
Beans & Lentils
Beans and lentils are an excellent source of fiber and folate, both of which are crucial to maintaining a healthy hormonal balance. Lentils also contain high levels of spermidine, which may help sperm fertilize the egg.
Lentils and beans are also high in protein, which can help promote healthier ovulation.
Studies show that when 5% of calories come from vegetable protein rather than animal protein the risk of infertility due to anovulation falls by over 50%.8
There’s a very common belief that eating pineapple core for five days following ovulation or embryo transfer (during IVF) will help with implantation.
Pineapple is a great source of vitamin C
A 1-cup serving will give you 46% of your daily recommended value. Low vitamin C levels have been associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).12
Pineapples also contain bromelain
Bromelaine is an enzyme that has an anti-inflammatory and anticoagulation effect. Bromelain encourages your immune system to move away from an inflammatory state.
Sesame seeds & Sunflower seeds
Seeds are good for fertility ! Read more on our seed cycling article.
Roasted, unsalted sunflower seed kernels are rich in
vitamin E, an essential nutrient shown to boost sperm count and sperm motility in some people.
folate and selenium, which are important for both male and female fertility.
omega-6 fatty acids and small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
CoQ10 can boost cellular mitochondrial function improving the quality of eggs (we recommend 600 mg daily)
Melatonin is not only a sleep aid, but also can boost antioxidants, promoting ovarian function. We advise up to3mg each evening, if it does not make you too groggy.
fish oil (EPA/DHA)
The omega 3s in fish oil can help develop higher quality eggs and improve reproductive function in older women (1200-1500mg EPA + DHA daily, do not exceed 3000 mg/day).
And of course, talk to your acupuncturist !
No matter where you are in your
woman's health, fertility, pregnancy & mothering journey,
if you need support, we can help.
In addition to our own team of fertility & women's health acupuncturists, we are well-connected within the Los Angeles- Pasadena area community to help you find the right integrative and holistic care for you.
If you have more questions please call our front desk, at 626-841-2991, or email us.