Is there a connection between vitamin D levels and IVF success?

Posted by & filed under Eggs, IVF.

This is a guest blog written by Dr. Kim Garbedian

 

There’s been an increase in talk about the role vitamin D plays in our health. Vitamin D has been linked to a variety of autoimmune diseases and cancers (breast and colorectal).

Recent studies suggest that vitamin D may play a role in fertility. It may be important for egg quality or play a role in embryo implantation. Right now, we just don’t know how it impacts fertility and further studies are needed.

Infertility is a common problem affecting 10-15% of Canadian couples. In our study of 173 Canadian IVF patients, we found that women with higher vitamin D levels were more likely to achieve pregnancy following in vitro fertilization.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble prohormone that your body gets from exposure to sunlight, from foods rich in vitamin D or by taking supplements. People living in countries at higher latitudes, such as the US and Canada, are more prone to vitamin D insufficiency.

Women with higher body mass indexes (BMI), especially a BMI of 40 or higher, were more likely to have deficient levels of vitamin D.

We found a 55% prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in their reproductive age infertility population. Clearly, women are not getting enough vitamin D from their diet, sunlight exposure or supplementation.

What we do know is that women with sufficient vitamin D levels had significantly higher pregnancy rates per cycle start (52.5%) compared with insufficient or deficient women (35%).

More studies are needed to find out whether vitamin D supplementation can improve pregnancy rates. Women experiencing infertility should speak with their healthcare provider for more information regarding the possible link between vitamin D and infertility.

Making sure you have all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function properly is an important part of taking care of your overall health!

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