The Impact of Poor Egg Quality on Fertility Rate
Most Women are inclined to believe that their egg count is the main indicator of a high fertility rate. Contrary to popular belief, however, it’s actually the egg quality that has the most impact. Unfortunately, egg quality naturally declines with age, and the poorer the egg quality becomes, the lower the rates of conceiving, even making it completely impossible.
Poor egg quality normally results in infertility which most women above the age of 35 tend to experience. But how exactly does it impact a woman’s natural ability to conceive?A high egg quality simply means high embryo quality. However, poor egg quality is closely linked to aneuploidy which is one of the major reasons for birth defects and even miscarriage. In most cases, the miscarriage happens even before a woman knows she’s pregnant.
In the case of IVF, poor quality eggs that are retrieved during the process will only lead to two outcomes: either the resulting embryos won’t implant, or the eggs won’t even fertilize.
This means that no amount of #IVF will be successful as long as the eggs used have poor quality. Even if the retrieval includes around 15-20 eggs, a high #IVFsuccess may not be possible.
But how exactly can you tell if you’re suffering from poor egg quality in the first place?
There are 4 key factors for this. They’re as follows:
1. You Have High FSH
The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is one of the important hormones responsible for ovulation. This hormone helps control the production of eggs in the ovaries. However, if it reaches a high level, then it can be an indicator of poor egg quality.
It’s for this reason why measuring FSH levels early on during your menstrual cycle is crucial in determining your fertility rate. Your body will just keep on producing more and more FSH until you ovulate. The problem is, if you don’t ovulate, then the production of FHS will continue until it reaches a high level.
2. High Estradiol
Apart from FSH, there’s also the hormone estradiol which can determine a woman’s egg quality. Like FSH, high levels of estradiol can also indicate poor egg quality. In some cases, it might also suppress FSH production which only makes it hard for the ovaries to respond to medications.
3. Age 35+
Your age is a major factor that greatly influences your egg quality. On average, a woman’s fertility rate diminishes upon reaching 35. The rate gets even lower until she reaches 45, a time where having good quality eggs is almost impossible. This explains why women who want to undergo IVF are advised to freeze their eggs before they reach 35.
4. Your #IVFcycle Retrieves 10+ Eggs But Less than Half Make It
In an IVF cycle, it will be possible to determine a woman’s egg quality via AMH (anti-Mullerian hormone) screening. This also correlates with the number of retrieved eggs. However, even if the cycle manages to retrieve 10 eggs or more, if only less than half of those eggs make it, then it can simply indicate a diminished ovarian reserve.
Improving Egg Quality
With all those indicators mentioned, is there a way to improve egg quality? Luckily, there are some natural lifestyle changes that can help such as:
- Eating healthy foods that are rich in antioxidants
- Properly managing stress levels
- Staying away from cigarettes or quitting smoking
- Achieving a normal body mass index (BMI)
- Take the right nutrients for you! There are lab tests that will help you determine if you have deficiencies or extra needs. Otherwise, general nutrients include an array of antioxidants. My favorites for fertility are CoQ10, Grape Seed Extract, and Rhodiola.
It’s important to note that IVF is often the first treatment administered to women who have poor egg quality. However, it’s not always a guaranteed option, especially if the four factors mentioned earlier are present. Still, it should help improve your chances of conceiving provided that you still have a few good quality eggs.