As an acupuncturist, I often work with women who are freezing their eggs. I am asked over and over again when to start preparing. According to scientific research, women should ideally prepare to freeze their eggs for a minimum of 90 days prior to the start of the egg retrieval process. There are a few key steps that women can take now to prepare for their eventual egg freeze.
1. Focus on Nutrition:
Nutrition is a crucial component of fertility, and it's important to ensure that you are getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals to support a healthy pregnancy. Foods that are rich in folate, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids are particularly important for fertility and can be found in leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and fish. The Mediterranean diet fits neatly into these specifications. Additionally, avoiding processed foods and avoiding processed sugar intake can help balance hormones and improve overall health.
2. Get Regular Exercise:
Exercise is an important part of overall health, and it can also improve fertility. Regular exercise can help regulate the menstrual cycle and improve blood flow to the reproductive organs. It's important to find a moderate exercise routine, like walking, that you enjoy and can stick to long-term.
3. Get Acupuncture:
Acupuncture can be an effective way to improve fertility and support a healthy pregnancy. Acupuncture can help regulate the menstrual cycle, improve blood flow to the reproductive organs, and balance hormones. It can also help reduce stress levels, which can have a positive impact on fertility.
4. Avoid Alcohol:
Alcohol consumption can have negative effects on a woman's fertility and egg quality. When a woman drinks alcohol, it can interfere with her hormone levels, which can disrupt the menstrual cycle and reduce the quality of eggs. Alcohol can also affect the way the liver processes estrogen, a hormone that plays a critical role in the menstrual cycle and the development of healthy eggs. High levels of estrogen can damage the DNA in eggs, leading to chromosomal abnormalities and a decreased chance of fertilization and implantation. In addition, alcohol consumption can cause oxidative stress in the body, which can damage the cells in the ovaries and lead to decreased egg quality.
5. Limit Caffeine:
Limiting caffeine intake can positively impact egg quality by reducing oxidative stress. Consuming more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day (one cup of coffee) can potentially disrupt hormone levels and blood flow to the reproductive organs, impacting egg quality. Limit caffeine consumption to one small cup of coffee or tea per day.
Overall, there are many things that women can do now to improve their chances of having a healthy pregnancy later on. By focusing on nutrition, getting regular exercise, considering acupuncture, avoiding alcohol and limiting caffeine intake, women can improve their fertility and promote overall health. And lastly, shameless plug, have a look at my in-depth instruction guide, The Fertility Book.
If this is you and you are ready to freeze your eggs, I'd love to help you prepare.
Lyngsø J, Ramlau-Hansen CH, Bay B, Ingerslev HJ, Hulman A, Kesmodel US. Association between coffee or caffeine consumption and fecundity and fertility: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis. Clin Epidemiol. 2017 Dec 15;9:699-719. doi: 10.2147/CLEP.S146496. PMID: 29276412; PMCID: PMC5733907.
Diet and fertility: a review. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 218(4), 379-389.