How Can You Boost IVF Success?
For couples dealing with infertility, in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be an effective treatment. The IVF process involves fertilizing eggs in a laboratory, with the hope that fertilized eggs will turn into embryos that can be implanted into the female partner’s or a surrogate’s uterus. IVF has some of the highest success rates of all forms of assisted reproductive technology. But some factors can still affect IVF outcomes. Here are four surprising facts about how vitamin D can make or break IVF success.
Fact #1: Vitamin D testing is vital
IVF is an involved process, and most couples want to do all they can to boost their chances of success. Studies have shown that adequate levels of vitamin D in the female partner directly link to higher chances of IVF success. In fact, one study showed that women with adequate vitamin D levels were 52% more likely to get pregnant from IVF treatment than women who were vitamin D-deficient.
Fact #2: Orange juice isn’t just for vitamin C
Vitamin D is often thought of as the sunshine vitamin. However, laying at the pool isn’t the only way to boost vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is also found in certain foods such as eggs, milk, yogurt, salmon, and tuna. And orange juice isn’t just full of vitamin C; it’s also a good source of vitamin D. For women who are deficient in vitamin D, a physician may also recommend capsule supplementation.
Fact #3: Some risk factors are uncontrollable
Women who live in overcast climates aren’t the only ones at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Studies have also shown that being overweight or having darker skin can put women at higher chances of having inadequate levels of vitamin D. But there’s no way for a woman to know her vitamin D level without appropriate blood tests. Women should talk to their IVF physician about these tests to increase the chances of positive IVF outcomes.
Fact #4: Vitamin D necessity doesn’t end with a positive pregnancy test
Once a couple gets pregnant from IVF, sufficient vitamin D can also boost the likelihood of having a healthy pregnancy. Women who are deficient in vitamin D are at higher risk for gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and birth complications. One study found that women with sufficient vitamin D levels who underwent IVF were one-third more likely to have pregnancies leading to live births than women who were vitamin D-deficient.
Should I run to the drugstore for vitamin D?
Does this mean that everyone who is pregnant or going through IVF treatment should start taking vitamin D supplements? Not necessarily. Some women already have adequate vitamin D levels, thanks to diet, genetics, or spending enough time in a sunny environment. Women undergoing IVF should ask their physician about vitamin D testing. A physician can provide appropriate recommendations for supplementation and diet changes to ensure vitamin D sufficiency.