Q: Good Day Doc, please kindly instruct me on how to improve the quality of egg for a 39 year old woman for conception.
A: Every woman is born with about 1 million eggs. These eggs in the ovary die steadily such that by the time she gets to puberty, she has just about 300,000 left. These eggs are released every month in sync with the menstrual cycle. A woman will release about 300 to 400 eggs in her lifetime. As a woman ages, the quantity and the quality of the eggs reduce. Indeed the ovary’s ability to release eggs reduces until it can no longer release any eggs (menopause). The quality also reduces such that as one ages the eggs are more prone to having problems leading to miscarriage, birth defects etc
How can you improve the quality of your eggs? A study by some scholars at medical school shows that calorie restriction, which has been shown to reduce age-related problems and diseases, is also useful in improving quality of eggs even in old age. Calorie restriction involves limiting one’s normal calorie or food intake with the primary aim of slowing ageing and indeed, improving health. So this is an option. You will be losing weight or keeping trim while improving the quality of your eggs
Egg freezing is also an option to preserve the quality of the eggs you have now, if conception is not yet on the cards.
Other lifestyle factors that may help give you a better shot at pregnancy include:
Keep your weight healthy. Avoid the extremes of weight: underweight or overweight
Exercise. Ensure that you are active at least 30 minutes every day. Goal is at least 150 minutes every week
Stay away from tobacco, alcohol and other drugs of addiction.
You can have more of an in-depth discussion on this with your obstetrician who can also let you know other procedures available to you based on your specific history.
Have a positive attitude too and keep those fingers crossed