How to Increase Egg Quality: 5 Dietitian Approved Ways to Naturally Increase Egg Quality

How to Improve Egg Quality: 5 Dietitian Approved Ways to Naturally Increase Egg Quality

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Did you know women are born with all the eggs they will have in their entire lifetime? You must be thinking to yourself, that’s a lot of eggs! Is that many eggs really necessary? Out of the 1 to 2 million eggs you’re born with, only 300 to 500 eggs become mature enough to be available for use starting at reproductive maturity. So how does egg quality affect fertility, and how can you improve your egg quality over time?

There are many factors that can affect fertility, egg quality being one of the biggest. In this post we’ll be addressing what egg quality is and why it’s so important for fertility. We’ll explore natural ways you can boost your egg quality and how to improve egg quality as you age. So let’s get into it!

PS Before we get started, be sure to check out my newest Guide to Fuel Your Fertility and Optimize Your Hormonal Health where we’ll dive into foods to include to fuel your fertility, a list of what to keep in stock in your kitchen, a quick look at supplements for conception, and seed cycling to optimize hormonal health. Complete with meal plans to support your hormones in the follicular and luteal phases plus 20 bonus fertility fueling snack recipes to incorporate into your day!

Guide to Fuel Your Fertility and Optimize Hormonal Health eBook

*Please note, this blog post includes affiliate links for your shopping convenience. The links help support the blog as we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Does egg quality for fertility matter?

YES! The quality of a woman’s eggs plays a crucial role in fertility outcomes. High-quality eggs have the best chance of developing into embryos, implanting in the uterus, and resulting in a successful pregnancy. 

So what is egg quality? Egg quality refers to whether an egg is chromosomally normal or abnormal. A chromosomally normal egg has 23 chromosomes. When fertilized by sperm, the egg develops into an embryo which has a total of 46 chromosomes.

Your eggs are located in your ovaries. The ovaries provide shelter for your eggs and house many responsibilities! They produce reproductive hormones, like estrogen and progesterone, which are essential for establishing a normal menstrual cycle. The ovaries also contain structures called follicles, which are fluid-filled sacs containing cells that support the eggs. The follicles house immature eggs and help them grow and mature. During a woman’s menstrual cycle, luteinizing hormone signals the ovaries to release the healthiest egg. Once released, the lifespan of an egg is a mere 12 to 24 hours.

What defines egg quality?

Many factors can promote or inhibit egg quality. While there is no direct test for egg quality other than genetic testing of a fertilized embryo, fertility tests often measure the number of eggs available in a woman’s ovaries and can be utilized to help determine overall fertility status. Eggs of higher quality have a higher chance of implanting inside the uterus and developing into a healthy embryo. As a woman ages, the quality of her eggs diminishes due to aging and simple lifestyle habits. Poor egg quality may also contribute to the development of chronic health problems in offspring.

The good news is, simple lifestyle habits can promote egg quality which will ultimately affect your fertility outcome(s). 

Next, we’ll look at how long it takes to improve egg quality and some of the best options for you to improve your egg quality naturally.

How long does it take to improve egg quality?

Eggs take roughly 2 to 4 months to mature, which is why you should implement dietary and lifestyle changes at least 3 to 4 months prior to trying to conceive. 

The longer you spend trying to improve your egg quality, the better your chances for producing high-quality eggs.

How to improve egg quality naturally: 5 Dietitian Approved Ways

While searching for ways to improve egg quality you might get lost in a sea of suggestions. It can be a bit overwhelming to comb through all the options and determine what you want to give a try. Here are 5 tips for improving egg quality naturally that you can easily implement into your daily routine. No combing necessary!

1. Don’t Smoke and Limit Alcohol and Caffeine Intakes

For some, this is common knowledge, but it’s important to note how much smoking can impair your fertility. Common chemicals found in cigarettes can mutate DNA found in egg cells. Smoking can decrease egg quality and increase the risk of birth defects if pregnancy occurs.

Heavy alcohol use may diminish ovarian reserve. While there is limited research on the effects of caffeine and egg quality, one study found an increased risk of miscarriage with caffeine intakes greater than 300 mg/day. Limiting caffeine consumption and restricting or completely excluding alcohol in the months prior to trying to conceive may help boost overall egg quality and increase chances of conception. 

2. Limit Your Stress

Limiting stress is beneficial for overall health and wellbeing. But did you know that stress could be hindering your egg quality? In fact, stress with an elevated cortisol level may halt egg production altogether, leading to anovulation.

The imbalances that come from stress affect the whole body. You can reduce stress by meditating, journaling, and even adopting a new diet. Exercise is another great way to  reduce stress. Doing some light yoga, going for a walk, or doing something you enjoy are great ways to get your body moving and release feel good hormones to combat stress. This brings us to our next natural tip.

3. Get Active & Hydrate! 

I’m sure you’re tired of hearing people say, “getting active improves your overall health”, but it’s true! Even just light exercise can help improve your blood flow. Improving blood flow helps the body circulate oxygen-rich blood to necessary organs, including your ovaries! When your ovaries receive oxygen-rich blood it helps to nourish and keep your egg cells healthy and happy. 

Blood flow is also influenced by water intake, the more fluid you drink, the better your blood flow! When trying to boost egg quality it’s important to stay well hydrated. It is recommended to drink half of your body weight in ounces (if you weigh 140 pounds, you should aim for 70 ounces, or roughly 8 – 9 glasses).

Yoga is a great way to get the body moving, stretch your muscles, and check in with yourself. It helps to reduce stress, which will boost your overall health and mood, and increase your blood flow. It’s the perfect 2-for-1 combo when trying to improve egg quality! You can start by incorporating poses that offer specific fertility benefits such as the child’s pose, lotus pose, and reclining hero. 

4. Improve Your Overall Sleep Habits

Good news! Getting active helps to regulate your sleep schedule. So, if you’re already working on getting active, this will help make tip #4 easy!

Maintaining an adequate sleep routine is essential when trying to boost egg quality. Improved sleep will help reduce stress while boosting recovery within your body. 

While sleeping our bodies repair cells, rebuild energy stores, and release the proper hormones required for reproductive processes. Getting adequate sleep will help support your body in the process of developing quality eggs.

One supplement you may consider incorporating into your sleep routine is melatonin. Melatonin is a strong antioxidant that can be found in follicular fluid. Studies indicate that melatonin supplementation aids in improving egg quality in women experiencing unexplained infertility. In fact, one small pilot study found increased number of mature oocytes, transferable embryos, and clinical pregnancies in women with unexplained infertility who took supplemental melatonin daily, compared to women with unexplained infertility who took a placebo.

Before adding any supplement to your routine, be sure to discuss with your healthcare provider whether it is right for you, and if so, how much.

5. Eat a Healthful Diet

In order to produce quality eggs you need to fuel and nourish your body with quality foods. So what foods would be deemed ‘high quality’? Any food that provides an abundance of nutrients – such as dark leafy greens, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables – are of the highest quality. Foods like red meats, highly processed or fast foods, refined carbohydrates, and anything with excess sodium, sugar, or saturated fat would be considered lower quality. 

Not only can a poor diet lead to poor egg quality, but it may also decrease the total number of eggs a woman produces each month, a phenomenon termed follicular atresia, leading to an increased time to pregnancy.

So now that we know nutrition plays a key role in egg quality, you might be wondering: Which nutrients should you be focusing on when trying to improve your egg quality? 

Complex Carbohydrates

Egg quality is influenced by the availability of glucose in the body. Glucose is a simple sugar broken down from the carbohydrates we consume, think breads, pastas, rice, and fruits. Once broken down, carbohydrates are directly used for energy. When glucose is released into the bloodstream, it signals the pancreas to release insulin. When our blood sugar levels rise too quickly (i.e. after eating a large slice of cake) insulin levels spike. 

Over time, an imbalance in insulin levels can disrupt the balance of hormones involved in ovulation and egg production. This is why The Fertility Diet, and others, limit refined carbohydrates. 

The best carbohydrates are complex carbohydrates – ones that digest slowly and only moderately impact blood sugar levels, preventing any abrupt spikes in insulin. Think of legumes, vegetables, and whole grains.

We recommend incorporating various complex carbohydrates – legumes, oats, brown rice, vegetables – in your diet and limiting refined carbohydrates – breads, pasta, pastries – at least 3 months prior to trying to conceive. This will help optimize your egg health in order to produce energy at the right times during your cycle, hopefully bringing you one step closer to a successful and healthy fertility journey.

Healthy Fats

Fats are one of the most important nutrients involved in egg health. Certain fats contain anti-inflammatory effects, such as omega-3 fatty acids and oleic acid. Meanwhile, other fats, such as trans and saturated fat, can hinder egg quality. Due to negative effects, we recommend eliminating trans fats and limiting the intake of saturated fats – butter, red meats, and full fat dairy products – to less than 13 grams per day in the months leading up to trying to conceive. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

These types of fats are essential for proper cell function and help reduce inflammation throughout your body. Some common sources of omega-3’s include fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and sardines, and chia, flex, and hemp seeds. 

Women with sufficient omega-3 fat levels typically have higher quality embryos and are more likely to become pregnant and maintain a successful pregnancy. If you are choosing to supplement with omega-3 fatty acids try to aim for 700 to 1000 mg per day.

Oleic Acid

Another important fat for egg health is oleic acid – a healthy monounsaturated fat, also known as an omega-9 fatty acid. Some sources of oleic acid include olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, and certain nuts and seeds. Oleic acid can improve egg quality in women, especially those with PCOS. 


One of the most important dietary changes you can make to improve egg quality is including a variety of antioxidants into your diet. Antioxidants look for harmful, cell damaging free radicals in the body. Free radicals are produced as a by-product of oxidative stress, which occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals and the body’s ability to repair damage. We encounter oxidative stress on a daily basis. 

Some effects of free radicals include damage to DNA, proteins, lipids, cell membranes, and mitochondria, which are all necessary components of a healthy cycle. A healthy cycle aids in the production of high quality eggs for conception.

Some powerful antioxidants include vitamins A, C, E, selenium, zinc, and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). We’ll discuss more about these antioxidants next!

How to improve egg quality after 40 naturally

A woman’s eggs have a limited shelf-life once they reach reproductive maturity. As women age, egg quality declines, which lessens the chances of implantation, fertilization, and embryo development.

The odds of a woman achieving pregnancy after 40 are considerably decreased, and there is a higher chance of miscarriage in cases where pregnancy occurs. This being said, it’s not impossible, and there are things you can do to try and boost your egg quality naturally. 

So what are some ways women 40 years and older can improve their egg quality? 

Dietary Adaptations

Women over 40 who are trying to boost their reproductive health would benefit from adopting a “fertility diet”. The fertility diet is very similar to the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet emphasizes consumption of whole, unprocessed foods such as whole grains, fish and lean meats, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats from oils. This diet provides many anti-inflammatory benefits which can help improve egg quality and fertility outcomes. 

The fertility diet is a diet high in healthy fats and low in carbohydrates in an effort to maintain blood sugar levels. Fat is a crucial macronutrient for the development of cells in the body, providing the body with energy, and supporting cell growth. Fats aid in the absorption of nutrients and are used in the production of hormones. High consumption of healthy fats, such as omega-3’s, can help provide eggs with the nutrients they need to develop properly. 

For some pro-fertility diet recipes check out some of our other blog posts including…

3 Fertility Smoothies to Boost Your Fertility Journey
3 Fertility Smoothies to Boost Your Fertility Journey
5 benefits of bone broth for fertility and a recipe!
5 Benefits of Bone Broth for Fertility + Recipe!
can you take collagen while trying to conceive? all you need to know
Can You Take Collagen While Trying to Conceive? All You Need to Know
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Seed Cycling With the Moon to Optimize Hormonal Health: All you Need to Know

Ready to make dietary changes to optimize your fertility?

In my Guide to Fuel Your Fertility and Optimize Your Hormonal Health we’ll dive into foods to include to fuel your fertility, a list of what to keep in stock in your kitchen, a quick look at supplements for conception, and seed cycling to optimize hormonal health. Complete with meal plans to support your hormones in the follicular and luteal phases plus 20 bonus fertility fueling snack recipes to incorporate into your day!

Now available! Guide to fuel your fertility and optimize your hormones + meal plans. Fertility Fueling Kitchen Staples Guide to Supplements for Fertility Seed Cycling to Optimize Hormonal Health Luteal + Follicular Phase Meal Plans. Click here to learn more.


Supplements can be used to promote a healthy ovarian environment and improve egg quality in women ages 35 and over. Younger women trying to conceive could also benefit from supplementation. 

Discuss with your healthcare provider about whether any of the below supplements might be right for you!

Fish Oil

Fish oil is a rich source of omega fatty acids. Omega-3’s help delay ovarian aging and preserve fertility. This in turn helps produce higher quality eggs. EPA/DHA can help produce higher quality eggs and boost reproductive function in advanced maternal age.

If you are not already consuming fatty fish 2-3x/week, adding a fish oil supplement to your fertility routine may be beneficial for you. Discuss with your healthcare provider whether you should add a fish oil supplement, and how much to add. You should NOT exceed 2500 mg/day of EPA/DHA.

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

As women age, CoQ10 levels decrease. This necessary nutrient supports energy transport in cells and is an antioxidant. Supplementing with CoQ10 can help boost mitochondrial function in an effort to promote energy production in egg cells. CoQ10 helps protect eggs from damage and is an essential component for early embryo development.

A recent study found increased clinical pregnancy rates in women who consumed CoQ10 supplementation, compared to a placebo or no treatment as well as higher rates of high quality embryos for those undergoing IVF.


As discussed, antioxidants can provide balance to a life of imbalances. Some essential antioxidants for women over 40 include CoQ10, vitamins A and E, and glutathione.

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that can aid in reducing oxidative stress on egg cells, producing healthier eggs, and providing better chances of developing healthy embryos. 

Vitamin A plays an important role in blastogenesis – an essential part of embryo development – and vitamin E helps increase follicular blood supply which can help produce high-quality eggs. 

Important Vitamins and Minerals for Egg Health

Zinc and certain B vitamins play key roles in DNA synthesis and aid in the development of high quality oocytes – immature egg cells. High-quality oocytes have a higher chance of maturing completely and forming quality egg cells that can be utilized for your fertility.

Folate is an important vitamin essential to a woman’s reproductive health. Most women know that it’s important to take folate during pregnancy, but it’s also good to start supplementing with folate while trying to conceive. Folate helps in promoting oocyte quality, maturation, fertilization, and implantation. 

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

DHEA is a hormone utilized to produce reproductive hormones, including estrogen and progesterone. Supplementing with DHEA can help boost ovarian reserve and produce higher-quality eggs, especially as you age.

In conclusion: How to improve egg quality for pregnancy

Fertility struggles can be all consuming and devastating to many. If you are struggling with infertility, at any age, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. You can start managing your stress and putting your health first today. The better health you’re in, the better your reproductive health will be, and the better chances you’ll have for desired fertility outcomes. 

Let’s review 5 ways you can boost your egg quality naturally! 

  1. Don’t smoke, and limit alcohol & caffeine consumption
  2. Limit your overall stress levels
  3. Get active & hydrate!
  4. Improve your overall sleep habits
  5. Eat a healthful diet

All of these will help improve your overall health which will help boost your reproductive health, and ultimately boost egg quality. Remember, it’s good to start implementing these changes 3 to 4 months prior to conception. The longer you are including these healthful habits, the better chance you have of producing high-quality eggs during your ovulation period.   

Are you looking for more support during your fertility journey?

In my Guide to Fuel Your Fertility and Optimize Your Hormonal Health we’ll dive into foods to include to fuel your fertility, a list of what to keep in stock in your kitchen, a quick look at supplements for conception, and seed cycling to optimize hormonal health. Complete with meal plans to support your hormones in the follicular and luteal phases plus 20 bonus fertility fueling snack recipes to incorporate into your day!

Don’t wait, grab your Guide today! NOW AVAILABLE!

Now available! Guide to fuel your fertility and optimize your hormones + meal plans. Fertility Fueling Kitchen Staples Guide to Supplements for Fertility Seed Cycling to Optimize Hormonal Health Luteal + Follicular Phase Meal Plans. Click here to learn more.

How to Improve Egg Quality: 5 Dietitian Approved Ways to Naturally Increase Egg Quality” is written by Samantha Sycalik and reviewed/edited by Jamie Adams, MS RD LDN. Sam is a current Senior undergraduate student at the University of Maryland studying Dietetics and exhibits a special interest in infant and maternal health.

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