On August 14, 2014, U.S. News & World Report published the results of a small study suggesting that vitamin D deficiency could lower a woman’s chances of getting pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF).
In this study, researchers in Italy compared the success of IVF in two groups of women: those with vitamin D deficiency and those with sufficient levels of vitamin D. The study’s results, first published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found that women with sufficient levels of vitamin D were twice as likely to get pregnant compared to those with vitamin D deficiency. In addition, women with sufficient levels of vitamin D were more likely to have higher-quality embryos and their embryos were more likely to implant in the uterus.
The study’s co-author, Alessio Paffoni of the Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Milan, warned that the study did not conclusively prove cause-and-effect. While the relationship between vitamin D status and pregnancy has long been suspected, studies have been inconclusive and inconsistent. Some studies have suggested that low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, preterm labor, caesarean section, and low birth weight. Other studies though failed to show this increased risk.
Vitamin D, known as the “sunshine” vitamin, enhances and helps to regulate the intestinal absorption of essential minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. These levels are maintained through either dietary ingestion or through the skin’s exposure to sunlight. Though vitamin D’s connection to fertility is still inconclusive, there is no question that it is beneficial to overall health. For that reason, Shady Grove Fertility suggests that women with a low vitamin D level take a supplement and ultimately maintain a normal level.
The effect that vitamins have varies from person to person. Whether you are trying to conceive or looking for ways to promote a healthy pregnancy, it is important to speak with your physician before starting any vitamin or supplemental regimen. More on vitamins for fertility and healthy pregnancy.
If you are ready to schedule an appointment at Shady Grove Fertility, please speak with one of our New Patient Liaisons at 877-971-7755.