Improving Egg Health Naturally
In the past few decades, as women have taken a bolder step forward into the marketplace, marrying and having a family has been pushed back as careers have moved front-and-center. Today in the US about 20 percent of women have their first baby after age 35. Regrettably, as women get older, infertility increases with and about 33 percent of women over the age of 35 have fertility issues. Health problems and biological challenges are more likely to interfere with ovulation and affect fertility.
One of the primary risks of infertility, particularly for older women, is the quantity and quality of her eggs. Infertility risks increase with age as the reserve of eggs in the ovaries diminishes and the quality of the eggs also declines, especially when a woman reaches her late 30s and early 40s. Abnormal chromosomes are more likely to develop, lessening the chance of conception and increasing the chance of miscarriage. Statistically, at least half of all miscarriages are due to abnormal chromosomes. One of the ways to overcome the effects of aging on fertility is through the use of IVF. Some women have to use donor eggs or opt for embryo donation.
What Affects Egg Health and Ovulation?
Although the common belief has been that the sole factor determining ovarian health, and subsequently egg health, was age, new research has shown that information is not necessarily true. There are many things that have an impact upon the health of the ovaries and eggs, including environmental factors, hormones and stress. Additionally, healthy fertility has many components to it and it is possible to produce healthier eggs by enhancing these factors:
· Proper circulation
· Healthy fertility cycle (ovulation)
· Balanced hormones
· Healthy eggs
There is a considerable window of time available to impact the quality of the eggs that will be ready for ovulation. It takes 90 days for the egg to be prepared prior to ovulation. During this period of time there are specific factors that affect the eggs: blood flow; proper oxygenation; hormonal balance; nutritional intake; stress.
Improving Egg Health by Increased Blood Flow
It is important to the health of the eggs that oxygen rich blood flows to the ovaries. Lack of exercise, dehydration and thick blood all circumvent the flow of blood to nourish the ovaries and benefit the eggs. Some of the ways to increase blood flow include:
· Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of pure water daily to thin out blood that may have become thick through dehydration.
· Exercise regularly, whether it is walking, running, dancing or yoga. Exercise increase blood flow in the body, carrying fresh, oxygenated blood to the organs.
· Learn self-fertility massage, a type of massage that stimulates the ovaries and uterus bringing in fresh blood and moving out stagnant blood.
· Deep breathing, done properly, brings fresh oxygen into the lungs and increases circulation of oxygenated blood.
Balancing Hormones for Egg Health
Hormonal balance, especially as a woman gets older, can be a challenge. Hormonal imbalance is aided by the stress of lifestyle, environment and diet. Fertility cycles become skewed and ovulation is affected. While drugs will likely be part of the IVF process, it is possible to help the endocrine system become more balanced naturally. By enhancing the hormonal balance in the body, a woman has a much higher chance of producing good eggs.
To enhance estrogen in the body, foods that contain phyto-estrogens are important to eat. Foods like tempeh, all sprouted seeds, oils from seeds (sesame, sunflower, and linseed), oats and barley, and vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber and carrots. Phyto-estrogens can also be found in small amounts in whole grains, rice and rye and in herbs like aniseed, dill, coriander and red clover. Progesterone can be enhanced with herbs, vitamins and minerals that include fenugreek, blue cohosh, yucca, magnesium and vitamin B6. Most of these and many others are available at health food stores.
A Healthy Diet = Healthy Eggs
Eating well during the 90 day window of opportunity can impact eggs positively. A diet that is dense in nutrition will feed the eggs and help to make them healthier. Eating foods such as:
· dark leafy green
· pumpkin seeds
· sesame seeds
By cutting out food and drink that is damaging to health, the eggs will be saved from destructive factors. Cigarettes, alcohol, caffeine, sugar, non-organic meats and vegetables, processed foods and trans-fats are all damaging to egg health.
Enhancing the diet with a good quality multivitamin that is not comprised of synthetics, and taking antioxidants to help protect the egg from free radical damage are additional ways to promote the health of eggs.
Relaxation for Ovulation and Egg Health
The last aspect is handling stress properly. We live in a world that is fast-paced and demanding, allowing little time for reflection and relaxation. However, if egg health is important, than reducing stress is equally important. Stress will cause damage to the eggs and can also affect the entire pregnancy process. In a study of women who were not ovulating, one group received cognitive therapy and the control group did not. Of the group receiving cognitive therapy, 80 percent of the women started to ovulate again as opposed to 25 percent from the control group. Relaxing takes practice but it is a very important part of producing healthy eggs.
Focusing on healthy, natural ways to ensure egg and ovary health, a woman be feel satisfied that she is enhancing ovulation, egg production, and the health of her future baby.