Vitamin D and Fertility
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin found in foods such as mushrooms, oily fish, butter and egg yolk. It is synthesised by the body on exposure to sunlight. However, due to insufficient regular exposure to sunlight, most of us don’t make enough of it.
Having normal Vitamin D levels are essential for healthy teeth, bones and muscles but more recently, a study in the Lancet (a reputed medical journal) has found it to be potentially beneficial for couples trying to conceive and for mum and baby to maintain health and wellbeing throughout a pregnancy and birth.
Vitamin D not only helps to balance female hormones, but also supports successful implantation of an embryo and reduces the risk of pregnancy loss, including miscarriage.
Adversely, having a Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to events during pregnancy such as anemia, pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes and premature birth, so it’s essential that women maintain healthy Vitamin D levels before conceiving, throughout and even after a pregnancy.
How can I get the Vitamin D my body needs?
Unfortunately, it’s quite difficult for us get the correct amount of vitamin D our bodies need purely from our diet. There are therefore only two sure-fire ways to boost our Vitamin D levels:
- Exposing your bare skin to sunlight for the ‘good’ rays – ultraviolet B (UVB)
- Taking a daily Vitamin D supplement of 10mcg
Enjoy the sunshine…. but be sensible
Vitamin D has been termed the ‘sunshine vitamin’ as our bodies are designed to produce it when our skin is exposed to the sun, and more specifically its Ultraviolet B rays (UVB). We certainly don’t advocate that anyone rushes out to get tanned or burnt, but simply by exposing your skin for a short period of time (as little as 15 minutes depending on your skin type), will generate all the Vitamin D your body can produce in one day.
Taking a Vitamin D Supplement
Many people don’t get enough Vitamin D from sunlight as they have very little or no sun exposure on a regular basis. In this instant, the Department for Health recommends a daily supplement of 10 micrograms (mcg) which you can purchase from all good chemists.
In all cases, we recommend a simple blood test to check your current level and also that you speak with your doctor before taking any supplements.
How do I know if I’m Vitamin D deficient?
If you think you might have a Vitamin D deficiency, you can order our at-home Vitamin D test today from IVF Matters online store. The finger prick test kit is delivered to your home address. You will get your results by email via our secure online portal, within 1 working day of receipt of your sample.