Vitamin D has received much attention over the 5-10 years mainly due to its involvement in bone health and immunity. However, although the studies are there to prove it, not much attention is given to this hormone-like vitamin’s ability to influence male and female fertility.
Given what we know today, testing your vitamin D levels, should routinely be part of your standard preconception health care. As should screening for: immunity to rubella, thyroid health, iron stores, a Pap smear.
If you have irregular cycles, hormone testing should be carried out to try to pinpoint underlying causes or conditions, such as PCOS.
There are other useful tests such as: chlamydia, ureaplasma, Staph and B strep infections. All of which can result in infertility or recurrent miscarriage.
It is now well established that vitamin D plays an important role in both male and female reproductive function. Vitamin D is also important for a healthy pregnancy and baby. Below is a list of 31 ways vitamin D can improve your fertility and pregnancy outcome:
Studies have reported that most people, especially men, run low in vitamin D. The leading factors include aging, limited sun exposure, and/or certain cholesterol drugs.
It is estimated that up to 50% of the Australian adult population have insufficient vitamin D levels, especially during the winter months.
Vitamin D is a hormone-like vitamin that can be synthesized by the skin when we are exposed to sunlight – without sunscreen – that is!
The problem is, that we don’t seem to be spending enough time in the sun to produce adequate levels of vitamin D.
For your body to start producing vitamin D, you will need to spend enough time in the sun for your skin to turn slightly pink, without starting to burn.
This is easiest to achieve in the midday sun, and for most people this requires around 10-15 mins. The darker your skin colour, the longer time you will need.
You can obtain vitamin from foods such as: fatty fish, wild salmon, sardines, tuna (usually also contains mercury), cod liver oil. Small amounts of vitamin D are found in egg yolk, beef liver and cheese.
Portobello and other mushrooms contain vitamin D2, especially if they have been exposed to ultraviolet light.
If you are taking a vitamin D supplement, take it with a meal as this increases its absorption by 50%, according to a study from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation Bone Clinic.
Vitamin D deficiency is generally easily rectified. Higher doses can be given for short periods of time to quickly bring levels into healthy range.
If you are looking for ways to optimise your and your partner’s health and fertility, make sure your vitamin D levels are above 75 nmol/L.
Hi there, I’m Henriette Selch and the founder of Perth Natural Fertility. I believe in empowering people to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives. Over the past 15 years, I have helped hundreds of couples improve their health and fertility. Apart from being a naturopath, I spend most of my time reading, learning and developing new skills to help others. I also love traveling and spending time with friends and family.