You probably already know that the right food and lifestyle choices can play a huge part in prepping your body for pregnancy. In fact, even if you’re not ready to become a mom right now—but think you might want to have a baby in the future—it’s important to start taking the right steps to make sure you’re optimizing your fertility. After all, you want to ensure your reproductive environment is the strongest and healthiest it can possibly be down the line.
But as a hormone expert and health coach, I find that many women—even the most well-informed health junkies—often don't know they’re lacking an essential fertility nutrient: vitamin D.
It's an underappreciated nutrient that's actually a hormone. Vitamin D3, the recommended form, is made from your skin's exposure to the sun. So even if you’re eating a super-healthy diet full of organic greens and whole grains, you may still be deficient in D3. That’s because most foods—fortified or not—don’t have therapeutic levels of this nutrient.
Studies suggest that as many as 93 percent of women dealing with infertility issues are vitamin D3 deficient. It’s also been estimated that most women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) have this deficiency. Plus, some research has shown that women who have the highest levels of vitamin D are more likely to conceive via IVF than women with low levels.
The core issue here, from a hormonal health standpoint, is that a low concentration of vitamin D can cause estrogen dominance, a hormonal imbalance that contributes to a whole range of reproductive health problems for women.
I believe vitamin D deficiency to be at epidemic levels, and I consider it the root of many women’s struggles with fertility and health.
Here are a few ways vitamin D can support fertility: