Summer Sun, Vitamin D, & Female Fertility

According to a national data, three-quarters of American teens and adults are deficient in vitamin D. For both men and women, the benefits of vitamin D include maintaining strong bones, reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol, and has also been used for patients with diabetes. Vitamin D is produced in the body when skin is in contact with ultraviolet light or sunlight. It can also be obtained through foods such as tuna, salmon, and milk. Low levels of vitamin D can be due to low exposure to UV light, a genetic defect that prevents the body from producing and/or metabolizing vitamin D, geographic locations that have shorter days and lower UV exposure, as well as ethnicity and skin color.

Studies have shown there is a possible correlation between women deficient in vitamin D and infertility. One study found that 93% of the infertile women were deficient in Vitamin D, with levels below the normal lower limit of 30 ng/ml. Although its exact role in the female reproductive tract is not completely understood; scientist have identified vitamin D receptors in ovarian tissue, endometrium, and fallopian tube linings. It has also been found to stimulate ovarian hormone production as well aid in the regulation of follicle selection during ovulation. A more recent study, performed by RMA of New Jersey, failed to find an impact of Vitamin D deficiency when transferring chromosomally normal embryos in IVF cycles.

RMAPA still recommends that all patients take some form of vitamin D supplementation and monitors levels throughout treatment. Please speak with your physician or nurse for options for vitamin D supplements and the recommended daily dosages.