If you’re an intended parent, you probably have a lot of questions when it comes to IVF. One of them might be:
“Is there a way that I can improve my egg quality?”
Why Egg Quality Is Important in Surrogacy
While some intended parents will use a donor egg, other intended parents hope to use their own eggs in the gestational surrogacy process. Eggs can be surgically retrieved from an intended mother, and her fertility clinic can combine the most viable of those eggs with sperm from a donor or an intended father to create an embryo. That embryo can then be transferred to a gestational surrogate’s uterus.
But, egg quality is one factor that can directly impact whether or not the transfer will result in a pregnancy. So, some intended mothers will try to increase their chances of producing as many healthy eggs as possible leading up to their retrieval procedure.
It might sound surprising, but there are actually a few tricks that you can check out. To help make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a few of them into this guide. But if you’d like to talk to one of our specialists to learn more, you can fill out our free information form.
In the meantime, check out these surprising tips to improve egg quality.
1. Try Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. But did you know that some intended moms also use this well-known method to improve IVF success rates?
It might sound surprising, but a number of women have attributed their success to this medical technique. Here are two ways that acupuncture may help improve egg quality and potentially increase egg production:
- Improved Blood Flow: There are two big things that can lead to a decline in blood flow to the uterus and ovaries: stress and aging. But acupuncture can actually increase blood flow by slowing down (also known as de-regulating) the nervous system. This will cause your blood vessels to dilate, which means that they’ll start to widen. When this happens, your blood vessels may release more nutrients to the ovaries and uterus, which may help create healthy eggs.
- Reduces Stress: Many people rely on acupuncture for stress relief. When needles are inserted into the skin at specific points, the body will release endorphins, also known as your natural pain-relief chemicals. These hormones produced by your brain and nervous system can lift you out of a bad mood and can help alleviate stress.
Most doctors recommend that you begin acupuncture sessions at least 3 months before going to your IVF cycle appointment. To learn more about whether or not acupuncture may help you, we recommended talking to your doctor!
Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are one of the most important tips you can follow when you’re going through IVF. While it’s generally a good idea to abstain from strenuous activities, studies have shown that having a healthy BMI is linked to positive IVF success. Activities like light to moderate weight lifting, walking, using an elliptical and light yoga are good options to choose from.
3. Eat well
Eating healthy foods won’t just make you feel better; it will help your eggs stay healthy, too. Eating plenty of leafy greens, whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables should be part of your diet. And of course, you’ll want to avoid processed foods, fast food and too much sugar.
4. Manage your stress
You might know that overexerting yourself can quickly take a toll on your mental and physical health. But did you know that stress can affect your egg production, too? When you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, try to take a step back and look for ways to reduce your stress. A good book, practicing yoga or meditation and light exercise can help take your mind off what’s worrying you.
5. Take Supplements
Taking your vitamins can actually be a good way to increase your egg quality. In one study, women who took DHEA fertility supplements were even able to produce more eggs. Coenzyme Q10 is another option that might help. In general, a good quality multi-vitamin that includes vitamins like A, zinc, magnesium, iron might help you see an improvement. As always, consult your doctor before you take any new supplements or vitamins.
6. Consider Minimal Stimulation IVF
In some cases, egg retrieval following minimal stimulation produced better quality eggs. With this type of treatment, the goal is to grow fewer but higher-quality follicles. While this method produces fewer eggs, focusing on higher quality may help you get the most out of egg retrieval day. Ask your fertility specialist if this might be a good option for you.
The IVF process takes patience, and we know it can be tough – physically and emotionally. If you’d like to speak with your specialist about more tips to improve your egg quality as you begin the surrogacy process (or about surrogacy in general), you can reach out to us through our free information form to learn more.