Originally featured on Freeze, where common egg freezing questions are answered by top doctors.
FAQ on preparing your body for egg freezing: steps to get in optimal shape for egg freezing success
Prior to deciding to freeze your eggs, a consultation is important to review your full medical history and identify any conditions that can be improved so you can have the best possible outcome from this elective procedure.
You can take proactive steps to help prepare your body for the procedure. Three months before the process begins is an ideal time period. Preparing your body encourages its peak health so you can promote chances of a success during your egg freezing cycle.
Below are common questions women ask about preparing their body for egg freezing success.
Should I make dietary changes before the procedure?
I recommend a diet rich in antioxidants and unprocessed, whole foods. Examples include:
- Vegetables and fruits.
- Lean proteins (chicken, fish, eggs, soy), healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, nuts), whole grains and legumes.
- Avoid processed foods, fried foods and sugars.
Can my diet improve my egg quality?
No and yes. Your eggs have been with you since birth, and a 90-day dietary change is not going to affect their quality. But it takes 90 days for an existing egg to mature for ovulation, so a healthy diet can aid in that developmental stage. It will also make your body stronger to deal with the hormonal changes involved in the processes.
What do you advise regarding alcohol and smoking?
Minimize alcohol consumption before egg stimulation, and avoid it during stimulation. If you currently smoke, I recommend stopping as quickly as you can and seek help if you need it. Smoking is very toxic to the egg number and quality. If you do smoke, I recommend avoiding smoking for 90 days before stimulation, as smoking impairs ovarian function and reduces the number of eggs that can be retrieved after stimulation. Avoid vaping and recreational drug use.
Should I lose weight to improve egg freezing success?
If you are not at a healthy weight and are overweight or obese, yes: you should lose weight. You should also gain weight if you are underweight, which can also affect ovulation. Extra weight can alter the hormones in the ovary, affecting the egg quality. If you are overweight, losing weight before undergoing ovarian stimulation may improve your outcomes by 1) decreasing the amount of medications you require (less costly), 2) improving your ovarian responsiveness to medications and 3) improving your safety while undergoing the retrieval.
Dietary changes helped our first patient have success
Is it wise to stop my exercise routine?
No, not for most women. Keep up your regular, daily exercise routine. This promotes anti-inflammatory cellular responses, good health and helps control stress – all of which are good for fertility. But avoid excessive running and vigorous jumping and twisting type exercises once you are more than four days into the stimulation until a few days after the retrieval is completed.
I’m young and in pretty good health, except for asthma. Is that an issue?
It is, and it brings up a crucial step for all women considering egg freezing. In your initial consultation with the fertility specialist, make sure to go over ALL health conditions – these can affect your risk during the ovarian stimulation and the egg retrieval. In addition to knowing your full medical and surgical history, your doctor needs to know about any adverse reactions you have had to anesthesia, if you have heartburn or gastric reflux, and if you have any airway disorders like asthma and sleep apnea.
You should also tell the specialist about any medications AND over the counter supplements you are taking so that the doctor can advise if you need to change or stop any medications prior to starting treatment. Some medications and nutritional supplements can affect your safety when having anesthesia, and your doctor needs to know this to help keep you safe.
I’ve been so busy and am only getting about six hours of sleep. Is that enough?
Not really. I recommend getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep increases stress in many people, and we don’t want to add stress, it makes us feel bad and gain weight. Good sleep helps physiological aspects of fertility including the release of reproductive hormones.
How do I know if I am in good enough health to undergo egg freezing?
A reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist can discuss this with you at your initial consultation. A review of your health conditions and medications with your provider will confirm if you are in a healthy state for egg stimulation.
Does acupuncture promote a good stimulation response?
A link between acupuncture and various components of fertility health has not been proven. But complimentary medicines like acupuncture, massage, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, and other relaxing activities can definitely help reduce stress, which is good for improving well being and helps the egg freezing experience feel more positive.