Why do more couples conceive during the summer and not the winter (at least in more northern or cooler states)? Some fertility experts are suggesting that it could be the sun, and Vitamin D. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble secosteroid (steroid hormone) that helps cells throughout the body to communicate.
“Vitamin D has been well-known for its function in maintaining calcium and phosphorus homeostasis and promoting bone mineralization. There is some evidence that in addition to sex steroid hormones, the classic regulators of human reproduction, vitamin D also modulates reproductive processes in women and men.”
Vitamin D receptors have been found in reproductive tissue, and has been shown, in some studies, to improve endometriosis and PCOS treatments, menstrual cycle irregularities, metabolic imbalances, as well as improving IVF outcomes. It may help the body produce estrogen and progesterone as well, improving the chances of conception.
If you are TTC (trying to conceive), you should consider getting your Vitamin D levels checked. The test most offices use is the 25(OH)D test (or 25-hydroxyvitamin D). What is the ideal range? Today is is considered to be 50-70 ng/ml. If they are low, your doctor may suggest a Vitamin D supplement (typically Vitamin D3). Newer studies suggest 8,000 IU’s per day, especially if you need to get it to the absolute minimum of 40 ng/ml. Whether you take Vitamin D in supplement form or increase D-containing foods, you do want to get exposure to sunlight every day if possible, as close to noon as possible. This will help activate the vitamin and contribute to more effective function. It’s free and usually a fairly easy habit to start incorporating into your day. And it’s not just a great thing to start doing for fertility and conception – Vitamin D levels have been shown to help reduce chances of developing cancer, which is great for everyone.
If you have any questions about which supplements and lifestyle changes you can make in order to achieve a healthy pregnancy, feel free to call our office. We are always happy to help you on your path to parenthood.