Vitamin D for Fertility
There are many components to consider when preparing your body for pregnancy or when facing infertility, but research is pointing toward vitamin D and its many benefits for improving fertility.
There are many factors that play a role in prepping your body for pregnancy. Whether it be that you are making sure you are eating the right foods or staying active with your lifestyle, each thing you do (or don’t do) may have an effect on your chances of getting pregnant. Even if you are not planning on becoming pregnant now, there are some things you should always be aware of to increase your chances of becoming pregnant in the future.
Recently, there has been more interest and attention toward one specific nutrient that may be harming many couples’ fertility: vitamin D3. It is an underappreciated nutrient that also doubles as a hormone. Studies suggest that as many as 93% of women dealing with infertility are deficient in vitamin D. But, here’s something worth remembering: women are not fully to blame. It is also important for your male partner to have optimal levels of vitamin D3 in order to maintain high sperm count and sperm motility.
Many don’t understand the importance of vitamin D3 when it comes to fertility. The vitamin helps the body regulate blood sugar levels, which ultimately helps in making sure you ovulate every cycle, optimizing your chances of becoming pregnant. It also helps support your body’s immune system by preventing autoimmune responses (when the body attacks itself) and keeping a pregnancy viable. This special vitamin also helps in supporting a healthy gut microbiome and vaginal microbiome. Your chances of conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy are higher with a balanced and healthy gut and vaginal biome. Lastly, your reproductive organs require vitamin D in order to function well.
You may be worried and anxious to find out if you are deficient. An easy way to test your D3 levels is to ask your doctor to give you a 25(OH)D test, or a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test.
If you do find that you are deficient, don’t start to panic. There are some simple lifestyle changes that you can make in order to boost your levels and increase your chances of becoming pregnant. You may have heard vitamin D referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” and, simply put, that’s basically what it is.
Sunshine is the best way for you to obtain optimal levels of this nutrient, as most foods are not fortified with vitamin D. It is recommended to spend about 30 minutes each day outside, preferably without sunscreen. Although skin health is also of high importance, wearing sunscreen can lessen your intake of vitamin D and ultimately not yield the optimal level for health.
If you do not live in a very sunny area, you can turn to supplements to help you. It is very hard to get enough D3 through supplements alone, but they can still help in upping your levels.
Look for more upcoming information about the benefits of Vitamin D, especially while pregnant.