When I froze my eggs I really didn’t know where to start aside from finding a clinic and setting up an appointment. Should I stop going out on dates and having my beloved rosé? Do I start a special diet? I had all of these questions like you might too.
At the end of the day, it’s simple: You don’t need a specific diet or nutrition plan to freeze your eggs BUT there are foods, nutritional supplements and other natural medicine tools that can optimize your egg health.
I’ve done a TON of research on this subject and I truly believe that incorporating some (or all) of these can have a positive outcome on your egg freezing journey.
- I will emphasize that most fertility specialists and nutritionists will tell you to start eating these foods and taking these supplements at least 3-6 months before you start the egg freezing process. Below I include both plant-based and animal-based sources and ideas for you.
Diet for Optimal Egg Health
Before I froze my eggs I did the 21-day Daniel Fast, which was a vegan diet that involved no added sugar, alcohol, or processed foods. It gave my body a total reset and I felt amazing.
I definitely don’t think you have to do a special fast before egg freezing and I did the Daniel Fast for religious purposes. But I do think it’s important to fully understand how diet and nutrition can play a crucial role in ensuring optimal egg health.
A balanced diet rich in specific vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals can help improve egg quality and overall reproductive health. Research has shown that certain nutrients, such as folate (folic acid) and omega-3 fatty acids can positively impact fertility.
A 2018 study published in the journal “Fertility and Sterility” found that women who followed a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, had a higher likelihood of successful IVF treatment and better egg quality.
Remember egg freezing is the FIRST step in IVF and if you choose to use your eggs later to create or expand your family, you’ll need to complete IVF.
Lean proteins provide the necessary building blocks for reproductive hormones and healthy eggs.
Examples of lean protein sources include:
- skinless chicken breast
- low-fat dairy products (such as cottage cheese and yogurt)
These food options provide high-quality protein without excessive amounts of saturated fat.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that is essential for the body’s overall health. When it comes to egg freezing and overall egg health, omega-3 fatty acids are important for promoting healthy cell membrane development and improving blood flow to reproductive organs, which can enhance egg quality and fertility.
A lot of fatty fish are loaded with omega-3s!
Some examples that you can add to your diet are:
- chia seeds
Additionally, you can incorporate more omega-3s by consuming fortified foods such as eggs, as well as taking fish oil or algae oil supplements.
Folic Acid and Vitamin D Levels
Folic acid, also known as folate, is a B vitamin that is super important for the production and maintenance of new cells, especially during pregnancy.
It is important for egg health as it helps in the production of DNA and RNA and is crucial for developing the neural tube in a fetus.
However, adequate folic acid intake is also important for women who are considering egg freezing, as it can help ensure the health of the eggs being preserved.
Vitamin D, on the other hand, plays a key role in the body’s absorption of calcium, which is important for bone health.
Research has also suggested that sufficient levels of vitamin D may be associated with better outcomes for women undergoing fertility treatments, including egg freezing.
One study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that women with sufficient levels of vitamin D were more likely to produce high-quality embryos during IVF treatments.
You can increase your folic acid intake by:
- consuming leafy green vegetables
- eating citrus fruits and fortified grains
Vitamin D is tricky to get enough of. Besides exposure to sunlight, you can take it through supplements. For people like myself who have more melanin in their skin, our darker skin makes it harder to synthesize/absorb vitamin D through the sun.
Get your blood work done and see if you are deficient. I was severely deficient in vitamin D a few years ago, so I take a supplement daily.
Diet Rich in Antioxidants and vitamins
Antioxidants help protect your body from oxidative stress and this can improve egg quality. A diet high in antioxidants and quality vitamins can also help reduce inflammation and support hormonal balance, which can help you during the process.
Some vitamins to include in your diet when considering egg freezing are:
- Vitamin C: found in citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers
- Vitamin E: found in nuts, seeds, and spinach
- Coenzyme Q10: found in fish, meat, and whole grains
- Selenium: found in Brazil nuts, seafood, and whole grains
- Lycopene: found in tomatoes, watermelon, and red peppers
- DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone): May help improve egg quality and ovarian function for women with diminished ovarian reserve.
Avoid a lot of caffeine
I know if you are a Starbucks girly this may be tough to hear but try to avoid consuming a lot of caffeine. My fertility nurse said caffeine can negatively impact fertility by affecting hormone levels and disrupting the development of healthy eggs. Excessive caffeine can also lead to decreased blood flow to the ovaries. But don’t worry, some caffeine is okay.
I was told one cup of coffee per day was fine, and I still drank green tea and the occasional matcha drink.
Avoiding Endocrine Disruptors
Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with the body’s hormonal system and potentially leading to reproductive problems down the line.
You can avoid endocrine disruptors during egg freezing by using natural personal care products (I avoided products with synthetic fragrances) and avoiding plastics and canned foods with BPAs that may contain harmful chemicals.
What to eat the night before your egg retrieval
Tomorrow is a big day! So try to focus on consuming nutritious, easily digestible foods that will provide you with energy the night before your egg retrieval.
For a balanced and nutrient-dense dinner the night before egg retrieval, an example of a meal could be grilled salmon, quinoa or brown rice, and steamed vegetables.
You could add some healthy fats, such as avocado or a handful of nuts too. I had fruit and lots of herbal tea the night before too. But really EAT what makes you happy and feel good.
You may be feeling pretty bloated at this point so ordering some UberEats or DoorDash so you don’t have to cook isn’t a bad idea either lol.
What should I eat after egg retrieval?
Grab the chips ladies. Seriously!
Your doctor may recommend consuming foods high in sodium and electrolytes after egg retrieval. This can help to maintain proper fluid balance in the body and prevent dehydration.
Foods such as pickles, pretzels, chips, olives, canned soups, and sports drinks can help to replenish sodium and electrolyte levels. I drank a TON of coconut water after my egg retrieval.
Acupuncture, ovarian massages, and using natural medicine
In addition to optimizing their diets, in the discussions I’ve had with other women who have frozen their eggs, I learned that some incorporated acupuncture, ovarian massages, and natural medicine during their journey.
- Acupuncture can help regulate your menstrual cycle and improve blood flow to the ovaries
- Ovarian massages can promote blood circulation to the reproductive organs and help reduce stress.
- Natural medicine, such as herbal supplements can also aid in hormone balance. Prioritizing rest and quality sleep is also very important. I can’t stress this enough!
As I wrote at the beginning of this blog post, you don’t have to do everything I’ve listed. Making just a few dietary and lifestyle changes can have a positive impact during your egg freezing journey.
Basically consume a balanced healthy diet, check to see if you have any vitamin deficiencies, and see which supplements and antioxidants you want to integrate into your meals.
If you found this helpful feel free to read my other posts about egg freezing and DM me on IG @girlwithdrive if you have any specific questions.