Vitamin D has been linked to sexual function, testosterone levels and fertility, which may come as a surprise. Furthermore, research has revealed that vitamin D deficiency is more common in men with reduced sperm production, quality and motility. Vitamin D, on the other hand, is necessary for musculoskeletal health in both adults and children.
Vitamin D is thought to improve both sperm quality and ovarian stimulation. Many researchers believe that taking vitamin D supplements can significantly increase the likelihood of men with poor sperm quality becoming fathers, even if sperm quality does not appear to improve. Furthermore, it is believed that providing vitamin D supplements to women can increase the chances of an egg being fertilized by high quality sperm, which increases the chances of pregnancy. Vitamin D deficiency, on the other hand, has been associated in studies with reproductive problems and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Dr Haritha Mannem, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility in Indirapuram, Delhi NCR, discusses the importance and role of vitamin D in fertility.
Vitamin D and fertility in women
Vitamin D appears to be linked to women’s fertility as well as a healthier pregnancy. Previous research on the link between Vitamin D and fertility has yielded mixed results. Healthy levels of vitamin D have been shown to boost the success of IVF and the transfer of frozen donor-egg embryos. Women with adequate vitamin D levels are four times more likely to become pregnant through IVF than those with low levels. Studies also show that pregnant women with higher levels of vitamin D have higher live birth rates compared to those with lower levels. Although many vitamin D may not make you fertile anymore, there is evidence that not enough vitamin D can impair fertility and cause unhealthy pregnancies.
Vitamin D and fertility in men
Vitamin D levels have been linked to sperm quality and motility, as well as male fertility. Men with higher vitamin D levels contain higher calcium levels in their sperm. An increase in sperm calcium levels also leads to an increase in motility functions. It has also been shown that a deficiency of vitamin D in men reduces sperm motility and the overall amount of motile spermatozoa. Consequently, vitamin D deficiency can help men become more fertile.
Increased vitamin D levels for fertility
If you are trying to conceive or have recently given birth, make sure you take enough vitamin D. The sun is one of the best sources of vitamin D, and spending at least 20 minutes outside every day is a great way to increase your levels.
In addition to getting enough sunlight, you can increase your vitamin D levels by including the following foods in your diet:
• Fatty seafood and fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel
• Red meat
• Egg yolks
• Foods with added nutrients
Also read: All about vitamin B12: Nutrition sources, deficiencies and side effects