Vitamin D offers many health benefits: it helps maintain calcium and phosphorous levels in the body, strengthens bones, and is thought to be linked somehow to regulation of the reproductive process in both men and women. Previous studies of vitamin D and fertility in animals have shown a link between the two, with vitamin D deficiency resulting in lower fertility rates. A recent study by June L Fung et al. in Fertility and Sterility begins to show evidence for a positive association between vitamin D and human fertility.
In the study, which lasted six months, the authors compared clinical pregnancy and live birth rates among women who met the standard vitamin D requirement and those who did not. Study participants were healthy women who had not given birth before, with no known infertility, between 18 and 39 years old. Doctors monitored the participants’ diets and blood samples for accurate serum vitamin D levels throughout the course of the study.
Fung et al. did find that women with higher vitamin D levels also had significantly higher levels of iron and folic acid from their diet and supplements, a correlation that could skew the results. This applied to the men involved in the study as well. Interestingly, 96% of the women with the recommended D levels did not receive it from diet alone — many of them regularly took supplemental vitamins.
Overall, the study found very positive outcomes for participants who met the recommended level of vitamin D: 67.5% of them had clinical pregnancies after 6 months of trying to conceive, and 59% later had live births. Among the women who did not meet the level of D, only 49% had clinical pregnancies and 40% had live births.
After adjusting for age, race, BMI category, alcohol use, and smoking, Fung et al. found that women with sufficient vitamin D were 2.26 times as likely to achieve a clinical pregnancy and 2.20 times as likely to have a live birth as compared to the women with insufficient levels of vitamin D.
This article offers compelling evidence that taking your vitamins can help your fertility outcomes. If you are interested in meeting with a physician to discuss ways to improve your fertility, contact us through our online contact form or by calling 973.548.9900. Our skilled and passionate physicians look forward to guiding you to your desired fertility outcomes with holistic and focused care.