How Burnout Can Affect Egg Quality

May 19, 2021

Dr. Ashley Margeson, ND

Dr. Ashley Margeson, ND


Have you ever wondered how stress affects the egg you release every time you ovulate? Turns out, you’re not the only person who asked that same question. A 2016 article studied the answer to this question, and it turns out – yes – your body’s response to stress can impact the quality of the egg.

What have we learnt? That the increased level of stress hormone such as cortisol reduces the production of estrogen in the first half of our cycles, which could possibly affect the granulose cell functions within the developing egg (called the follicle). This can result in deterioration in the quality of the egg.

The research went on to look at weather oxidative stress and reactive oxygen species can affect egg health as well. Turns out, once again, we received some answers. We learn that we need a balance between levels of reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress against antioxidants. When everything is in balance, the egg quality is improved. When there is too much circulating reactive oxygen species and or an increase in oxidative stress we find that there is depletion of germ cell s from the ovary (which means less healthy eggs being released).

Complicated? Not really.

When you take all this research and compile it together, what you see is a good intake of antioxidants and a modulation of the stress response positively impacts the quality of the egg being released.

So should you take a pile of antioxidants? Jury is currently out. We have research showing benefit with melatonin, vitamin c and other antioxidants; be we have even stronger research showing benefit in women who eat a variety of vegetables. So what does that mean to me? Create a positive antioxidant status in your body by eating a well balanced diet of veggies, and spend the money on lots of different colours – not just a supplement.




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