Male and female infertility can be attributed to a variety of causes; while there could be some structural deformities of the reproductive organs that could be causing infertility, the reason could be something as simple as deficiency of certain nutrients. It is essential to know about all the nutrients which can have a direct influence over reproductive health and ensure that their lack does not cause a negative impact on fertility.
Vitamin D, also called the “sunshine nutrient”, plays a key role for human health as almost every single cell in the body is influenced by it. From cancer to heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and infertility, this vitamin has been known to reduce the risk of numerous health conditions because of its steroidal action. Most amazing is the fact that Vitamin D is easily available in nature; just exposing oneself to natural sunlight for a few minutes in a day is enough to replenish the supply of the vitamin in the body.
With vitamin D being so easy to procure, it is crucial to realize its importance for human health and ensuring that one has enough of it for countering various diseases and conditions. Here is all that you need to know about the link between vitamin D and reproductive health.
The role of Vitamin D in reproduction
For understanding the role of vitamin D in the reproductive process, it is important to know how the vitamin actually works. Primarily, it is known to play a vital role in absorbing calcium for the body and maintaining bone health. Its deficiency is linked with increased risk of a number of chronic health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Studies have shown that vitamin D acts as a steroid that affects the way cells operate; it has the ability to turn them on and off so that they function in a proper manner.
The cells which make up the male/female reproductive system are equipped with vitamin D receptors. These include the cells of key reproductive organs such as ovaries, uterus, placenta and fallopian tubes in females and testes, urethra and prostate in males. When the body produces or synthesizes sufficient levels of active form of vitamin D (calcitrol), it binds with the receptors in the reproductive organs and regulates their genetic action for conception to take place.
In females, it activates the genes which are responsible for estrogen production as well as embryo implantation, thus facilitating pregnancy. Research has established the role of the vitamin in improving the quality of egg and embryo as well as preventing inflammatory conditions which can induce pregnancy loss. Deficiency of vitamin D in females can hamper her ability to produce mature eggs and also result in underdevelopment of the uterus. Similarly, it can result in pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and hypertension. Additionally, it has been found out that the rate of IVF success is higher in women with higher vitamin D levels.
The vitamin is equally crucial for male fertility too as it improves the sperm count as well as quality (motility and morphology) by supporting the development of the sperm cell’s nucleus. Also, it has a positive influence over the testosterone levels, which boosts male fertility to a significant extent and makes them more “fertile”.
As a final word, it can be said that the role of vitamin D for reproductive health should not be underestimated because its deficiency can lead to male as well as female infertility. Moreover, the fact that it is easy to get healthy doses of the vitamin (by simply spending a few minutes in sunshine), is encouraging enough to seek its natural supplementation in a safe, effective and inexpensive manner. Fertility specialists need to pay attention to vitamin D levels in the patients when even the most advanced reproductive techniques fail to yield results because the reason of failure could be as simple as vitamin D deficiency.
Gaudium IVF is one of the best infertility clinics in India and is renowned for offering high-tech infertility treatment as well as best gynecological care for its patients. Contact here for free second opinion and advice from Dr Manika Khanna, the best infertility specialist in India.