“While most folks associate vitamin D with bone health, a little known fact is that it can also play an important role in fertility.
In fact, a number of studies have shown that Vitamin D has a direct impact on the reproductive organs in both men and women. In men, it works to help produce more testosterone, the hormone responsible for making sperm. In women, vitamin D works directly on the ovaries, helping to regulate how estrogen is used to help egg follicles mature and grow.
Vitamin D also appears to play a role in how estrogen acts in the uterus, particularly in regard to development of the lining. In fact when vitamin D levels are low, your uterus may not develop a lining sufficient enough to hold on to your embryo – which in turn frequently leads to very early stage miscarriage.
In fact, vitamin D is now considered such an important fertility nutrient, one group of Yale researchers devoted an entire study to learning what happens when levels decline. Here they studied 67 women who had problems conceiving – and found that 93% of them were low in vitamin D. According to researcher Dr Lubna Pal, “ Of note, not a single patient with either ovulatory disturbance or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) demonstrated normal Vitamin D levels; 39 per cent of those with ovulatory disturbance and 38 per cent of those with PCOS had serum 25OHD levels consistent with deficiency. “
In another study, women who lost their menstrual cycle and were considered infertile due to PCOS resumed their periods and became pregnant when vitamin D levels were increased.
If that were not enough to get you to run right out to the nearest health food store and stock up on vitamin D supplements, consider this: Vitamin D is intrinsic to controlling blood levels of calcium. And when calcium levels go down, the rate of PMS climbs! More importantly, however, the reverse is also true – when calcium levels are sufficient, PMS is reduced – and ultimately that means fertility can prosper!
In studies conducted by University of Massachusetts researcher Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson, ScD, and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, it was learned that when the intake of both calcium and vitamin D is high, the risk of PMS is significantly reduced. In fact, they found that women who ate just four servings a day of low fat dairy or yogurt, or drank orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D had up to a 40% reduced risk of PMS.
So what’s the connection between PMS and fertility? Well first, when PMS is under control you will simply feel better with far less stress – which in turn means that all hormone activity will be better balanced. But more importantly, since PMS is a condition that is underscored by a reproductive hormone imbalance, reducing your risk of this problem also means helping to insure the proper hormone balance necessary for a quick and easy pregnancy.
Finally, the very latest research shows that Vitamin D deficiencies may be linked to a higher rate of bacterial vaginosis (BV) a very common intimate infection that has been linked to infertility. Indeed, not only can this infection create a hostile envioronment that can negatively impact sperm, if left untreated, BV can quickly turn into a a much more serious condition known as PID – pelvic inflammatory disease. This infection can easily spread into the fallopian tubes, ovaries and even the uterus and not only directly and immediately impact your ability to get pregnant, but also create scar tissue that continue to interfere with conception long after the infection clears. Moreover, if you do happen to get pregnant while you have a BV infection, it could increase your risk of miscarriage as well as lead to premature labor and a low birth weight baby.
The good news : You can dramatically reduce your risk of developing this infection – and increase your fertility in the process – by simply keeping your vitamin D levels high. How can this help? While doctors aren’t completely sure, many believe that vitamin D helps give a boost to the immune system, which in turn helps keep the natural bacteria found in the V zone from growing out of control.”