How To Improve the Quality of Your Eggs
Trying to Conceive
A lot of women, when trying to conceive in later life, are looking for ways to improve the quality of their eggs. The reasons for this are mostly because we are told that, as we get older, our egg quality diminishes and hence the chances of getting pregnant become slimmer as we get older.
Many doctors say that fertility in women starts to reduce at the age of 35 but don't forget it is still possible to get pregnant well into your forties, as well as the fact that there are many women who have become pregnant in mid to late forties whether that be naturally or through assisted conception (IVF etc).
So, there have been some studies done on some products that show they can improve the quality of eggs and increase the chances of pregnancy. For other supplements the evidence is slightly more anecdotal as clinical studies have not been performed, but women are still recommended to try these supplements.
What Supplements to Take
Before taking any supplements you should really talk to your doctor or OB about what you are taking - some supplements have side effects or are not suitable for everyone so do plenty of research before you start taking them. There are supplements that are completely natural and should be safe to take but if you are on any other medications then they could possibly conflict with those.
Royal Jelly and Bee Pollen
This is a supplement that I had recommended to me from a number of sources. Some success stories have been seen from women who take royal jelly and bee pollen (this can also be taken with propolis) - it can be mixed in with honey so that it is easier to take as the bee pollen does not taste that good.
It is advised that any supplement should be taken for around 3 months before seeing results and this one is no exception.
Experiments have taken place in Canada that show 'middle-aged' mice who are given doses of CoQ10 produce more eggs and of a better quality. This research is now expanding to women over 35 as it is believed that the enzyme could be the key for older women to be able to reproduce for longer and produce better quality eggs.
CoQ10 Research in Mice
In September 2011 an article was posted in the Vancouver Sun about research that had been carried out on mice with regard to taking CoQ10. To summarise:
Toronto fertility doctors say their experiments in mice show that co-enzyme Q10 makes older mice produce more and healthier eggs. The doctors are now preparing to test the supplement on women aged 35 and older undergoing fertility treatments.
However, for some reason that article (which was very interesting) has been pulled and I am trying to find out why.
Melatonin is actually a supplement to aid sleep, but in a recent study it was found that IVF patients who took 3mg of melatonin before treatment had a much better success rate than those who did not. It is not recommended that melatonin is taken for more than 3 months and it should be stopped (like most supplements) if a pregnancy is achieved.
Melatonin is something that is normally taken as a sleep aid. However a study was carried out on IVF patients who had previously had a failed IVF cycle that was due to poor egg quality. The study attempted to show that taking melatonin could increase the quality of the eggs and of the successful fertilisation rates. The study did indeed succeed in showing this and you can see more information on that in the Medical News Today article.
If you take 3mg of melatonin a night (which is the dose that it usually comes in) then this could indeed aid egg quality. The study does not say how long the supplement was taken for but as the IVF cycle usually lasts around 2 weeks before egg collection, it could be wise to take it in the first 2 weeks of your cycle.
DHEA - recommended by the Center for Human Reproduction
The Center for Human Reproduction recommends taking DHEA for 3 months for women who have a diminished ovarian reserve. This supplement has shown to improve egg quality and response to fertility treatment as well as a higher rate of spontaneous pregnancies.
Some doctors are pushing for an official study to show that DHEA can increase pregnancy rate, particularly in older women. One fertility specialist in Australia advises all of his patients over the age of 35 to take 75mg a day of DHEA and believes that they will conceive within 4 months (where there are no other known problems for conception).
- Genetic study shows DHEA improves embryo quality :: CHR
The Center for Human Reproduction has evidence that DHEA can improve pregnancy rates and also help women to get pregnant more quickly. DHEA helps reduce chromosomal abnormalities which are thought to be the cause of 85% of miscarriages.
Maca - Used for Centuries
Maca is a natural product from the Andes in Peru, which has been used for centuries in both men and women. It is said to increase strength and stamina and also boost fertility in both men and women as well as being used for women who are experiencing the menopause. it's ability is to balance out the required hormone levels so the right amounts.
Supplements For Improved Egg Quality
So if you have been trying to get pregnant and it is not happening and perhaps you are in the older age group - i.e. above 35 - then you may also be wondering how to improve egg quality. It may be worth trying one or more of these supplements to see if they have any effect. Some of these supplements will hopefully give you extra energy in any case so they are still worthwhile but it may well be the extra boost that your eggs need to increase your chances of conceiving.
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