If you and your partner are having problems getting pregnant you may be wondering why. When it comes to infertility issues there may be a few factors you need to consider. Egg quality is one of these factors.
In order for you to conceive, you not only need to have enough eggs, but these eggs need to be of good quality so that they are able to fully develop. Infertility testing can involve the testing of your eggs.
Unfortunately, testing can’t determine 100 percent what the quality of your eggs are but a few of the screening tests can establish how many healthy eggs you have that can be fertilized.
What are Poor Quality Eggs?
After undergoing testing for egg quality, some women find out that they have eggs that are of poor quality. This means that some of their eggs just aren’t able to reproduce.
Some of these eggs can’t be fertilized by sperm, while still others may have chromosomal abnormalities. Still, others can’t be split after they’ve been fertilized so they won’t be able to continue developing.
Of all the different factors of fertility, there is one that all women will eventually have to face whether they have difficulty getting pregnant or not: poor egg quality.
This is a natural part of the ageing cycle and nothing you do will be able to stop or reverse it. Some women will experience low egg quality earlier than others and may only know this if they have problems conceiving.
There may be other reasons for unhealthy eggs other than ageing, such as chromosomal abnormalities which can occur to eggs of any age. Other than ageing there are no real identifiable explanations of chromosome abnormalities.
Some researchers believe that exposure to radiations, toxins, and heavy metals may play a role in these egg abnormalities.
If your eggs just aren’t healthy enough to use for you to get pregnant and carry a pregnancy to full term, you may need to think about using infertility treatments that use donor eggs such as IVF (in vitro fertilization) or IUI (intrauterine insemination).
These donor eggs are generally taken from younger women, often women who are also going through IVF and have a surplus of eggs that they’ve decided to donate.
Age: The Biggest Threat to Egg Quality
As a woman gets older, so do her eggs and this can decrease her fertility and ability to conceive naturally. The eggs inside of the ovaries have a harder and more difficult time being able to develop into a baby.
As women age, the quantity of their eggs also decreases. This is also known as “ovarian reserve”.
While fertility drugs can trigger ovulation to produce more eggs from the egg reserve, the quality of these eggs won’t respond in the same way.
When a high percentage of the eggs available in the ovaries are of low quality, the possibility of infertility becomes more likely.
This means that other options for pregnancy need to be considered. If you’re undergoing IVF your chances of success can increase from 30 percent to about 50 percent if you’re using donor eggs rather than your own.
The Link between Healthy Eggs and Conception
By the time you’re in your 40s most of the eggs in your ovaries will be of poor quality. This is one main reason why the success rates of natural conception and IVF decrease as women age.
At the age of 25 IVF success rates are about 45 percent. A woman at the age of 40 will have a 19 percent IVF success rate declining to about 3 percent when she’s 44.
These low success rates for IVF are one reason why women over the age of 40 often choose to use donor eggs from younger women. Using donor eggs increases the success of IVF treatment.
Even when older women are able to conceive using their own eggs there is a much higher chance of miscarriage and birth defects, such as Down’s syndrome.
This is because the chromosomes in older eggs are not as active when the egg matures and this causes defective embryos.
Can Egg Quality be Improved?
It is believed that eggs that are of poor quality can’t be improved. Once these eggs are unhealthy and have chromosomal abnormalities they can’t be repaired.
Naturopathic healing and holistic care have become more prevalent as couples experiencing infertility problems try to conceive as naturally as possible.
Try to improve your overall general health to increase your chances of conceiving at any age. You should get plenty of exercises and drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
Some studies show that healthy eggs require good blood circulation and oxygenation. Massaging your ovaries and abdomen can stimulate more oxygen and blood flow to the ovaries.
Eat a balanced diet. Reduce any stress in your life and don’t allow your desire to become pregnant to take over your life. Stress can inhibit ovulation whether your eggs are healthy or not.
Understanding the connection between infertility and egg quality can make all the difference when it comes to making important decisions about conception and pregnancy.