Happy and serene woman at beach vacationVitamin D, the same one that we get from the sun, is an important element in your body’s fertility health. From balancing hormones for women to increasing sperm counts in men, vitamin D might be the key to helping couples become pregnant. It can even help predict the success of your next in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle.

Women in fertility treatment can also benefit from getting more sunshine before their next IVF cycle. According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, women who had sufficient vitamin D levels in their systems were more likely to have a successful cycle than those who didn’t. The study showed that of the women with sufficient levels of Vitamin D before their cycle, 53 percent of them became pregnant, while only 35 percent of the women with insufficient Vitamin D had a successful round.

Vitamin D is also associated with a healthier pregnancy. A meta-analysis (which is a process that identifies patterns from different studies) from researchers in the University of Calgary Canada showed that pregnant women who had low levels of Vitamin D in their blood had been associated with pregnancy complications, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and low birth weight. In addition, they were more likely to have problems with bacterial vaginosis. Numerous studies have confirmed these findings, according to the researchers.

Vitamin D is clearly beneficial to fertility. But how?

  • For women: Vitamin D makes a regular menstrual cycle more likely by balancing the levels of progesterone and estrogen, the two key hormones in the monthly cycle. The more regular ovulation is, the easier it is for couples to time their intercourse to achieve conception.
  • For men: Vitamin D is a critical ingredient needed to facilitate a healthy nucleus in each of his sperm. In addition, sunshine has been associated with increasing a man’s libido by increasing the production of testosterone.

How Do You Get More Vitamin D?

One of the greatest things about Vitamin D is that the best way to get it is to absorb the UVB rays from the sun. It can also be found in oily fish, eggs and everyone’s favorite, liver. Another way to increase levels is to take a supplement.

As we emerge from the cold and cloudy winter months and head into spring, the sun is about to return to many parts of the world. One of the best things couples that are trying to become pregnant with or without IVF can do is to get some sunshine every day to balance her hormones and increase his sperm count. It may be the boost your fertility needs to help you start a family.

Sources:

Carey, Tanith. “Sunny break may be alternative to IVF: How the sunshine vitamin can help boost fertility.” www.dailymail.co.uk. 30 January 2012. Web 6 March 2014.
<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2093624/Sunny-break-alternative-IVF-How-sunshine-vitamin-help-boost-fertility.html>

Smith, Michael. “Low Vitamin D Could Make for Tough Pregnancy.” www.medpagetoday.com. 27 March 2013. Web. 6 March 2014. <http://www.medpagetoday.com/OBGYN/Pregnancy/38113 >

“Study: Vitamin D levels Predict Pregnancy Following IVF.” www.vitamindcouncil.org. 2 July 2013. Web. 6 March 2014. < https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/vitamin-d-news/study-vitamin-d-levels-predict-pregnancy-following-ivf/>