Vitamin D Deficiency Can Reduce Conception in Women Going Through IVF

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In a study done by the Endocrine Society it was discovered women with a vitamin D deficiency were about half as likely to conceive through in-vitro fertilization (IVF), as women who had healthy levels of the vitamin. Long known for its important roles in healthy bones and the alleviation of depression, vitamin D is a steroid hormone that is becoming known as an important factor in fertility.

Study Parameters

In a study published by the Endocrine Society in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers examined vitamin D and its role in human fertility. Italian researchers studied females who were undergoing in-vitro fertilization, a type of assisted reproduction. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control, more than 1 percent of all babies born in the U.S. each year are conceived through assisted reproductive methods.
Dr. Alessio Paffoni, MSc, of the Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Milan, Italy stated, “Our work is the largest study to date to examine how vitamin D affects fertility in women who are undergoing IVF. We found that women who had sufficient levels of vitamin D were more likely to produce high-quality embryos and more likely to become pregnant than women who were deficient in vitamin D.”

The study reviewed vitamin D levels in women who were tested at the Infertility Unit of the Fondazione Ca’ Granda at Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico for IVF through 2012. The team looked at the success of IVF procedures in 154 females whose vitamin D levels were sufficient. Women who had vitamin D levels of at least 20 ml in the blood were considered to have adequate levels of the hormone. Levels of 30 ml are highly recommended for someone to have good general health.

Women with adequate levels of vitamin D were almost two times more likely to conceive than women with a deficiency. Since females with sufficient levels of vitamin D were more likely to make top-quality embryos, researchers theorized that vitamin D was essential in the production of quality eggs in the ovaries, as well as for the successful implantation of a fertilized embryo in the uterus.

In Closing:

In conclusion to the study, Dr. Paffoni stated, “Although randomized clinical trials are needed to confirm the findings, our results certainly suggest that low levels of vitamin D contribute to infertility.” Furthermore, he stated, “Since vitamin D supplementation is an inexpensive and simple intervention with few relevant side effects, additional study in this area has the potential to markedly influence the way infertility is treated.”


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