You’ve probably heard that women have all of the eggs she’ll ever have stored in her ovaries when she is born. In fact, there are millions of immature eggs. These die off in a process called atresia. At the first menstrual cycle, there are only 400,000 left. Every cycle, a thousand follicles are lost and only one matures into an ovum.
Because eggs are a declining resource, women often want to know what they can do to ensure that the ones that they have are healthy. Lifestyle does have a role to play, so follow these tips to ensure that you are making the most of your fertility.
One of the most positive things that you can do when it comes to egg health is to concentrate on eating the best diet that you can.
Each layer of the ovum requires different vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. For example, the cell membrane requires Omega 3 and DHA. These can be found in fish or shellfish. Mitochondria within the cell need energy. The cell also requires B vitamins and zinc for division. These can be found in eggs, bananas, meat, oats and milk.
Another nutrition factor to consider is protein. Protein is the building block from which your cells are made. You need to make sure that you are getting a balance of protein from sources such as meat, fish, chicken, and legumes. You should try not to eat too many trans fats in your diet as these can impact on your body’s overall health.
2. Free Radicals
Over production of free radicals has a detrimental impact to our bodies. While we do need a small amount, if you drink, smoke, and don’t eat well, your body will be producing them in massive amounts – more than your reproductive system can cope with. Eating foods that are high in antioxidants can help to neutralise free radicals, so make space in your shopping trolley for cranberries, blueberries, blackberries and beans.
3. Sleep and Stress
Not sleeping well will have an impact on your hormones levels, and as these play a major part in your reproductive system, you’ll want to do your best to get a good eight hours every night. Try sleeping in a completely dark room, don’t use electronics in bed, and if you do sit on your phone or computer at night, consider downloading an app which changes the screen to emit less blue light which inhibits melatonin production, the hormone your body produces to get you to sleep.
Stress also impacts on ovulation. You can destress yourself by doing weekly exercise or trying meditation. There are a number of apps on Android and iOS which promote mindfulness and meditation – a fantastic way to help reduce how stress impacts your life.
Many women who undergo fertility treatments are found to be deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D can be made from going outside in the sun for just 20 minutes. You can also get it from green, leafy vegetables.
Whatever stage you are at on your fertility journey the more you can do to enhance the quality of your eggs, the more chance you have of establishing and maintaining a successful pregnancy, whether it be naturally or via fertility treatment.