Whether you are trying to conceive for the first time or struggling with infertility, then chances are you’ve spent many late nights researching tips for boosting your chances of getting pregnant. Between special powders, supplements, and getting enough sleep, it seems the advice is never ending. But can you make your eggs stronger to boost your odds of having a bun in the oven? It would seem that, like hitting the gym, you may be able to pump some vitality into your eggs, but experts say it doesn’t exactly work like that.
"This is one of the questions that we are most frequently asked," Dr. Jaime Knopman, co-founder of TrulyMD, and director at New York's Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine, tells Romper in an email interview. "But unfortunately, there is no magic bullet. There are no secret foods or hidden potions to improve egg quality."
Knopman says, however, that while a woman may not be able to strengthen eggs, she can be careful to take steps that do not diminish their quality. So, you guessed it: That means nixing cigarettes and swapping doughnuts for veggies.
"Cigarettes can not only decrease egg quality, but also result in early menopause," she says. "And although a healthy diet cannot improve egg quality, it can benefit your overall health."
According to Fit Pregnancy and Baby, other things that might help include avoiding alcohol and caffeine — I know, I know — and trying acupuncture, which has been shown to increase blood flow to reproductive organs, noted the International Journal of Women's Health. Reducing stress is also key, so try taking a slow walk around the block or making time for meditation.
Of course, keeping tabs on your ovulation cycle is also important to increasing your odds of pregnancy.
Most importantly? If it’s taking more tries than you thought it would, or pregnancy just doesn’t seem to be in the cards, then don’t beat yourself up. No amount of blaming your age or your decisions in 2002 will help. Talk to your doctor and, if you haven’t yet done so, then ask questions about advanced help, like in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, and adoption.
Because when you do finally become a parent — no matter how it happens — you’ll have enough mom guilt to last you a lifetime. Promise.