Trying to ConceiveFertilityPhysical healthTTC healthWellbeing
“How to improve egg quality?” is the most frequently asked question I get, by far. It is such an important topic because in my line of business, it is all too common for women to be told that “your eggs are no good” or “your egg quality needs to be improved” or “your egg quality is not as good as it should be.” Now that upsets me, because for most women who have issues with IVF failure or natural conception, egg quality, while relevant, may only be a PART of the whole equation. Egg quality is never the “only thing,” which is why I always talk about the concept of minor factors. 

What are minor factors?

Minor factors are based on a scientific approach to understanding any number of issues impacting fertility. The statistics show that a couple at peak fertility has an average of 3 months’ time to pregnancy. You add 3 minor factors to the equation, and suddenly they are enough to give us an average of 40 years’ time to pregnancy.[1] A minor factor can be anything — from the egg not working as well as it should, to sperm motility or sperm not being as healthy, and hormone imbalance or nutritional deficiency. All of these are fertility factors which can impact a couple’s ability to conceive and carry a healthy pregnancy to term.  It is not just all about egg quality. 

What are the ways for optimizing egg quality?

There are many things you can do to improve egg quality including improving your health, lifestyle, and nutritional supplementation. The right types of nutrients can make a dramatic difference.[8-13] This is where a specialist practitioner can guide you because prescribing supplements to improve egg quality is very personalized. The way enhancing egg health is achieved for one person may be completely different to how that gets done for another person because of the various factors contributing to egg quality and fertility health.[9-17] Yes, there is one thing that you will not be able to control — the amount of eggs you have or your ovarian reserve. However, the quality of your eggs is something that you can absolutely be able to positively change with the right approach.[4-18] 

Final thoughts

We recommend the How to improve egg quality fertility webinar which is one helpful resource where you will learn about Anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) or ovarian reserve and how egg quality impacts your ability to create a healthy baby. If you are interested to learn more about minor factors and cover which ones may be affecting your fertility, we recommend joining the Fertility Challenge™ as an introduction to the many actions you can take to boost your fertility. References:[1] Jansen, R. Getting Pregnant: A compassionate Resource to Overcoming Infertility and Avoiding Miscarriage. 2nd ed. 2003. Crows Nest, Australia: Allen & Unwin.[2] Levine, H., et al. Temporal Trends in Sperm Count: A Systematic Review and Meta-Regression Analysis. Human Reproduction Update, 2017. 23(6). PMID: 28981654.[3] Borges, E., et al. Sperm DNA Fragmentation Is Correlated With Poor Embryo Development, Lower Implantation Rate, and Higher Miscarriage Rate in Reproductive Cycles of Non-Male Factor Infertility. Fertility and Sterility, 2019. 112(3). PMID: 31200969.[4] Vannuccini, S., et al. Infertility and reproductive disorders: impact of hormonal and inflammatory mechanisms on pregnancy outcome. Human Reproduction Update, 2016. 22(1). PMID: 26395640.[5] Arhin, S.K., et al. Effect of Micronutrient Supplementation on IVF Outcomes: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Reproductive Biomedicine Online, 2017. 35(6). PMID: 28919239.[6] Marron, K., et al. Anti-oxidant Mediated Normalisation of Raised Intracellular Cytokines in Patients With Reproductive Failure. Fertility Research and Practices, 2018. PMID: 29507746.[7] Schmid, T.E., et al. Micronutrients Intake Is Associated With Improved Sperm DNA Quality in Older Men. Fertility and Sterility, 2012. 98(5). PMID: 22935557.[8] Chang, Y., et al. Egg Quality and Pregnancy Outcome in Young Infertile Women with Diminished Ovarian Reserve. Medical Science Monitor, 2018. 24. PMID: 30310048.[9] Prasad, S., et al. Impact of stress on oocyte quality and reproductive outcome. Journal of Biomedical Science, 2016. 23. PMID: 27026099.[10] Vitale, S.G., et al. How to Achieve High-Quality Oocytes? The Key Role of Myo-Inositol and Melatonin. International Journal of Endocrinology, 2016. PMID: 27651794.[11] Silvestris, E., et al. Nutrition and Female Fertility: An Interdependent Correlation. Fronteirs in Endocrinology, 2019. PMID: 31231310.[12] Mínguez-Alarcón, L., et al. Occupational factors and markers of ovarian reserve and response among women at a fertility center. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2017. 74(6). PMID: 28167499.[13] Joelsson, L.S., et al. Investigating the Effect of Lifestyle Risk Factors Upon Number of Aspirated and Mature Oocytes in in Vitro Fertilization Cycles: Interaction With Antral Follicle Count. PLoS One, 2019. 14(8). PMID: 31419245.[14] Orazov, M.R., et al. Oocyte Quality in Women With Infertility Associated Endometriosis. Gynecological Endocrinology, 2019. 35(Sup1). PMID: 31532315.[15] Shah, D.K., et al. Effect of Obesity on Oocyte and Embryo Quality in Women Undergoing in Vitro Fertilization. Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2011. 118(1). PMID: 21691164.[16] Niu, Z., et al. Associations Between Insulin Resistance, Free Fatty Acids, and Oocyte Quality in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome During in Vitro Fertilization. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2014. 99(11). PMID: 24694334.[17] Dean, D.D., et al. Connecting links between genetic factors defining ovarian reserve and recurrent miscarriages. Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics, 2018. 35(12). PMID: 30219969.[18] Gleicher, N., et al. Defining ovarian reserve to better understand ovarian aging. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinoloy, 2011. PMID: 21299886.
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