Reproductive Health and Vitamin D
PCOS and pregnancy rates are affected by Vitamin D levels.
Reproductive problems in both men and women are becoming more prevalent. The WHO has said that infertility rates have reached 1 in 6 people worldwide. In men, sperm counts have been decreasing and some scholars worry that in the next twenty years, sperm counts may reach zero. We wrote recently about Vitamin D levels and fertility in men, we encourage you to read that HERE.
This month we've been focusing on the role of Vitamin D in fertility and successful pregnancy. In this article, we'll look at a condition called PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). PCOS is commonly seen in women who are struggling to conceive and/or keep a pregnancy. An oversimplistic description of PCOS is that a woman's ovaries produce too much male sex hormone, resulting in hormonal problems such as acne, irregular menstrual cycles, infertility, and the presence of fluid-filled sacks in the ovaries.
In the remainder of this article, we won't focus on whether Vitamin D is important in managing or preventing PCOS. Instead, let's look at whether Vitamin D levels were important for women who had PCOS to still achieve a healthy, full-term pregnancy. An article published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2016 found that "Vitamin D status was identified as an independent predictor of live birth following ovulation induction in women with PCOS".
As you review the next sentence, keep in mind that the optimal range for Vitamin D levels is 40 - 60 ng/ml. The above-mentioned study found that women with PCOS who had a Vitamin D level above 45 ng/ml were 4 times more likely to have a live birth than women with PCOS and a Vitamin D level below 30 ng/ml.
Do you know your Vitamin D level? If you've not had your Vitamin D checked recently, consider ordering our convenient Vitamin D Home Test.