Vitamin D is known to help in the development of strong bones, as without it, calcium cannot be taken up by the body. This freely available vitamin has been greatly underestimated. Recent studies have shown that vitamin D plays a major role in reproductive health and fertility as well.
The major source of vitamin D is sunlight. Many countries located at high latitudes are greatly affected by the amount of exposure to the sun’s rays across the year. Studies performed on women in these countries found a correlation between the summer months of maximum sunlight and high rates of conception. In-depth research show receptors for vitamin D in ovaries and placenta of women; further corroborating this finding. During these months, a woman’s rate of ovulation and uterus’ receptiveness for a fertilized egg is much higher than during winter. This influence on reproductive health was also see in men, with similar receptors for the vitamin found in the sperm and testes and high levels of the vitamin associated with sperm count, motility and male sex hormone levels.
Research has also shown improved outcomes in couples undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). A study found 54% success rate in IVF in women taking more than 20 ng/ml of vitamin D.
Vitamin D not only affects fertility but the continuation of pregnancy. Studies have shown that the vitamin prepares the uterus for the acceptance of the fertilized embryo and also helps the immune system to fight infection without harming the pregnancy. In relation to this, poor source of vitamin D has been associated with complications such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, miscarriage and preterm birth.
So make the most of this summer and allow the goodness of the sun’s vitamin D to help you increase your fertility and your chances of conceiving. Despite these benefits, it is important to consult with your doctor about the appropriate dose of vitamin D supplements that are optimal for your overall health!