It is a growing issue that is often overlooked when initially trying to conceive, however recent government advice has recommended that women trying to get pregnant not only take folic acid, a well known supplement that can be found in food but often we don’t have sufficient in our diet.
The recommended daily dose for those trying to conceive is 400 micrograms daily. This can help to prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.
They have recently also advised that you also take 10 micrograms of vitamin D equivalent to 400 IU. So why the new guidelines you may ask? Vitamin D helps us to absorb the right amount of calcium and phosphate important for baby’s bones, teeth, kidneys, heart and nervous system.
Insufficient vitamin D can be linked to a range of pregnancy and birth issues including bone fragility, poor foetal and post natal growth and development, increased autoimmune issues and neonatal hypocalcaemia. Lacking in vitamin D may increase the chances of miscarriage a recent study has found.
Vitamin D can naturally be found in foods such as oily fish, egg yolks and fortified foods but it is difficult to take in sufficient in our diet.
The body gets most of its Vitamn D from sunlight but with lockdown and restriction of late then many have spent more time indoors and not having the daylight exposure necessary to maximise Vitamin D production. In recent tests 80 percent of people were deficient of Vitamin D.
It’s not just for the women, sufficient vitamin D is necessary for sperm health and motility and was seen to increase motility by up to 7 percent and may increase levels of testosterone the male sex hormone that plays an essential role in male fertility.
I have a range of contacts and partners that can undertake simple vitamin D tests and other tests such as at home sperm/semen analysis and a range of hormone testing ask me for more information and guidance.