Does Low Vitamin D Affect Fertility?
Studies suggest that women with low vitamin D levels may be less likely to have a baby. Learn more about how you can increase your chances of getting pregnant with vitamin D.
Is Vitamin D a Vitamin?
To start with, vitamin D is not actually a vitamin, it's more of a prohormone. This is something that our body takes in and then converts into a specific hormone. This hormone controls blood calcium concentration and it also has an effect on our immune system.
Vitamin D has its effects by binding to a protein called the vitamin D receptor and this receptor is present in nearly every single cell in our bodies. It has effects on many different bodily processes.
One of the important things that vitamin D does is to help the body absorb calcium, so that blood calcium levels are at a good level.
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a variety of health concerns. Too little vitamin D makes an individual more prone to infections and illnesses, cardiovascular disease and mental illness. Including mood orders like depression. Vitamin D helps to regulate adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine production in the brain. As well as helping to protect from serotonin depletion.
Vitamin D is now associated with lowered rates of fertility.
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin and that is because it's created in our bodies when sunlight hits our skin. The form of vitamin D that's created through the sunlight hitting our skin is vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is the better form the one that's more easy for our body to absorb. It's also found in things like fatty fish so like cod liver oil or salmon, potentially in egg yolks.
Vitamin D2 is a source we can find in plants. This would include mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight and then through that process of being exposed to sunlight then they synthesize vitamin D2. Vitamin D2 is less easy for our bodies to absorb.
Vitamin D2 and D3
Either one of these, D2 or D3, are actually not that easy to find in dietary form. The best way for our bodies to get vitamin D3 is for our skin to be exposed to sunlight.
So when it comes to this statistics of vitamin D deficiency, this is difficult to pinpoint. I've been trying to research it. But it is pretty high at the amount of people that are deficient in vitamin D.
Definitely we have to look at sun exposure and the color of our skin. If you have a lighter colored skin then the sun is going to absorb into your body a lot easier. The darker your skin is, it will be more difficult for sun to to be absorbed into your body to convert to vitamin D.
The things to take a look at to figure out on your own if you could possibly be deficient in vitamin D, is to look at the color of your skin. If you have darker skin there is a greater chance of being deficient in vitamin D. When it comes to sun exposure levels the lighter your skin, less chance.
But then also look at the where you are living and the amount of time that you spend outside. Even if you are in a warmer country, are you actually going outside and being exposed to the sun?
When you are outside are you wearing sunblock? are you wearing long pants, long shirts, things to cover your skin? Anything that's going to block the Sun?
All of those things are going to prevent this creation of vitamin D in your body.
Get your Vitamin D levels checked
Once you've kind of taken those things into account then it is pretty easy to actually get your vitamin D levels checked. Just go to your doctor and ask for a blood test to specifically test for vitamin D levels. Then you can see where you're at there.
If you find that you do have low vitamin D levels through doing this blood work, I would again take a look at your lifestyle. Does it make sense that you would have low vitamin D levels? What I mean by this is that there could be something else going on in your body that's creating these low vitamin D levels and it could not actually be just the amount of sun that you're being exposed to?
When should you take Vitamin D supplement?
If it does make sense you know you never go outside or if you do you're wearing sunblock, you just never really get much sun exposure and then you have vitamin low vitamin D levels or deficient vitamin D levels. if it makes sense, then I think at that point it would make sense to take a vitamin D supplement.
But if it doesn't make sense - so let's say you have naturally very pale skin you live close to the equator you're outside all the time you're getting lots of sun exposure - but you have low vitamin D levels. Then I think it would be best to instead of taking a supplement, look into what other things could possibly be happening in your body to be creating this sort of situation.
Taking a vitamin D supplement is an option. It probably is important to take a little bit of vitamin D every single day in case you are definitely not getting a lot of sunlight.
What amount of Vitamin D should you take?
When it comes to the amount of vitamin D that you should be taking, this varies so much! If you do see your doctor and find out that you have a deficiency in vitamin D, then definitely discuss with your doctor what they think the levels that you should be taking.
But because it's such a variety with every single one of us, because our skin color has an effect on it and the amount of time we spend outside has an effect on it, all these different things an effect on our vitamin D levels. It really depends how much vitamin D you should be taking. I don't think there's one specific answer for anybody.
It's also important to keep in mind that, yes, vitamin D works with calcium. But there's actually a whole bunch of other nutrients that also work with vitamin D.
Vitamin A and vitamin K2 are very important. These vitamins will sort of help to balance out the vitamin D, help the vitamin D to work more properly so you're not getting too much vitamin D, help you sort of get rid of the excess vitamin D if you are getting too much through your supplementation.
Because vitamin D is working with calcium it's important to note that there's other minerals, nutrients that are also important like your magnesium levels.
Without enough magnesium then calcium can start to collect in the soft tissues and cause problems like certain types of arthritis.
So yes this article is not really giving you like a simplified answer. If you feel like like I was saying before you know you're not getting much sun exposure, you have darker pigmented skin, and you just know that you're not getting the sunlight from vitamin D, it's not going to hurt you to take a bit of a vitamin D supplement when ttc.
But if you are taking like extremely high levels of vitamin D and you don't need it in the long term it can potentially cause negative effects.
Vitamin D supplements to treat infertility
I just want you guys to keep in mind that it's not just about shoving as many vitamins and supplements as you can into your body. But also on the other hand low levels of vitamin D have been linked to infertility, so this is something you might want to keep in mind, if you are finding it difficult trying to conceive.