Your Questions, Answered: Vitamin D Fertility FAQ
Vitamin D is vital to the physiological functions of ovarian follicles, small fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries containing immature eggs. Research shows that this nutrient might promote the differentiation and development of human granulosa cells, which produce hormones, including estrogen and progesterone. Additionally, vitamin C may promote egg quality by assisting in the production of the anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), an ovarian biomarker that is often measured to assess ovarian reserve. A higher intake of vitamin D may also improve egg quality, boosting conception success.
Yes, vitamin D supplementation is associated with positive natural pregnancy outcomes and has been found to be safe and effective. Vitamin D is considered vital for pregnant women and their babies, contributing to more live births, positive pregnancy tests, and clinical pregnancies. Among other benefits, vitamin D supports immunity during pregnancy and is crucial for fetal bone health and development. Vitamin D deficiencies are also associated with such pregnancy complications as gestational hypertension, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia.
Yes, for women undergoing fertility treatment, specifically IVF, taking vitamin D may be effective in achieving pregnancy. While additional research is necessary, it’s been shown to assist in the development of good-quality embryos. In addition, this nutrient may also significantly improve IVF implantation success, making it twice as likely for women to become pregnant.
Yes, as an antioxidant, vitamin D combats oxidative stress, which has been found to disrupt sperm function, including its DNA makeup. Vitamin D deficiencies are more common among men with low semen production, quality, and motility. In terms of sperm quality, vitamin D3 specifically was found to promote live births among men with low sperm counts.
While additional studies are needed, research suggests an association between vitamin D and prostate health. Specifically, men with the lowest levels of vitamin D were shown to be more likely to get prostate cancer. Meanwhile, for those with healthy vitamin D levels, prostate cancers were found to be less aggressive, with lower rates of related death.
Vitamin D has also been found to impart benefits for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate, specifically delaying or preventing its symptoms. Research shows an association between nutritional deficiencies and patients with a higher prostate volume, and a higher International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) score, a screening tool used to quickly diagnose, track the symptoms of, and suggest BPH symptom management.
Yes, studies have demonstrated a link between vitamin D deficiencies and erectile function (ED).
Specifically, vitamin D deficiencies may be connected with cardiovascular risk factors, diabetes, and inflammation, all of which can contribute to ED. Vitamin D regulates endothelial health, including oxidative stress and inflammation, helping to increase blood flow into the penis. It also stimulates nitric oxide production, which relaxes arteries and small blood vessels, improving sexual response by maintaining the penis’ blood flow.
- Under age 35, and have not conceived after a year of unprotected sex.
- Are 35 years or older, and have not conceived after six months of unprotected sex.
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