Longer days = more sunshine. This gives all of us more opportunity to naturally soak in an essential nutrient crucial to our general health, and essential for reproduction and fertility. What nutrient is this, many of you ask? Vitamin D!
The benefits of Vitamin D include:
improves in-vitro fertilization (IVF) outcomes
helps resolve endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in women
supports estrogen and progesterone levels in women, which regulate menstrual cycles and improve the likelihood of successful conception
is essential for the healthy development of sperm cells
helps maintain semen quality and sperm count
increases levels of testosterone in men, which may boost libido
Vitamin D is optimally synthesized by the body via sun exposure. Getting adequate rays to keep our Vitamin D levels within optimal range is difficult for most people, even those who live in sunny places like SoCal. Working indoors and slathering ourselves with sunscreen when we do go outside are the two primary culprits for Vitamin D deficiency. In order to improve your Vitamin D levels from sun exposure, make sure that at least 40% of your skin is exposed, and spend some time outside, approximately one-quarter of the time it would typically take you to burn on each side. Avoid using sunscreen during these “therapeutic" sunbathing sessions, and try not to wash with soap until the next day so that your body can absorb all the magic.
There are also some great food sources of Vitamin D, including fermented cod liver oil, fish roe (17,000 iu in a single tablespoon!), oysters and bacon (lard) from pigs who are free to forage outdoors and are raised humanely. It’s important to avoid dairy products and other processed foods that are ‘fortified’ with Vitamin D.
If your labs are very low and natural repletion isn’t going to happen in time for your pregnancy goals, adding a supplement of Vitamin D3 with added K2 (or high vitamin butter oil) works great. We are happy to discuss dosages, brands and a game plan for getting your D back on track at your next appointment!
Read more about Vitamin D in Laura's book, Feed Your Fertility, or schedule an appointment at 'MNW' to go over your most recent blood work with your practitioner to create a personalized supplement protocol to guide you to optimal health and fertility! In the meantime, take advantage of these longer days, and get outside and soak up some good old fashioned sunshine!!