For women struggling with reproductive issues like infertility, assisted reproductive technology (ART) comes to the rescue. This technology includes the transfer of fertilized human eggs into a woman’s uterus, commonly referred to as in vitro fertilization (IVF). But, even this option does not guarantee 100 percent success. A team of Italian researchers has established a study that looks upon the topic of relation-ship between Vitamin D deficiency and lesser changes to get pregnant via IVF.
Whilst getting pregnant via IVF (In vitro Fertilization), there are many factors that are to be taken into consideration. There are possibilities of many limitations occurring in the way of getting pregnant. One of them which are critical for such condition is appropriate levels of Vitamin D in the woman’s body.
Vitamin D is nicknamed as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ because the body produces Vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is also obtained through foods like eggs, milk, yogurt, tuna, salmon, cereal and orange juice.
Minor serum levels of vitamin D in the woman’s body may impair a woman’s chances of conceiving through in vitro fertilization (IVF) and may lead to hindrance in the success rate of the same according to the results of a large, prospective, cross-sectional study.
A comparative research study was conducted in Italy based on the same to determine the potential role of Vitamin D in getting pregnant via IVF.
The pregnancy outcome in 335 women attending a fertility clinic in Milan between January and December 2012 was evaluated. Serum vitamin D levels were assessed certain amount of days before embryo transfer.
Overall, 154 women had vitamin D deficiency, as defined by serum levels lower than 20 ng/mL.
The remaining 181 women had serum levels of 20 ng/mL and more. A level of at least 30 ng/mL is considered necessary.
It was found that the women with adequate level of Vitamin D had superior quality embryos. This provided improved chances of an embryo getting successfully implanted in the uterus.
In the August of 2014, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism concluded, ‘Those women who had appropriate levels of Vitamin D were twice as likely to get pregnant as compared to those suffering from Vitamin D deficiency’.
Such clinical studies were compared with those having lower levels of Vitamin D in their bodies. The study conducted was published online in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Study authors suggest around 20 to 30 nanograms per millilitre of Vitamin D levels in the women’s blood are considered sufficiently healthy.
The study co-author, Alessio Paffoni of the Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico in Milan further added in the Journal News that clinical trials which were held still needed to confirm the case findings. He further stated that he trusts that the findings will definitely suggest that lesser levels of Vitamin D are one of the critical reasons contributing to the conditions like infertility.
Paffoni said that since vitamin D supplementation is an inexpensive and simple intervention with few relevant side effects, further study in this area has the potential to markedly influence the way infertility is treated.
“Our work is the largest study to date to examine how vitamin D affects fertility in women who are undergoing IVF,” lead author Alessio Paffoni, MSc, said in a news release. For the women undergoing IVF treatments, serum vitamin D levels of 20 ng/mL or more were associated with a significantly greater chance of obtaining 3 or more high-quality embryos and with successful embryo implantation.
This study, performed amongst 181 women with appropriate levels of Vitamin D as compared to 154 women who had sufficiently low levels of Vitamin D in their body pointed in a positive direction suggesting that women’s Vitamin D Levels might have an important role to play in IVF success.
The probabilities of successful implantation and clinical pregnancy increased with increasing levels of Vitamin D.
Women with levels exceeding 30 ng/mL had a relatively higher success ratio for implantation as compared with women who had lower vitamin D levels. These analyses were observed considering numerous other factors like age, ethnicity, parity, body mass index, fertility duration, number of retrieved oocytes, and number of transferred embryos, study period, and presence of at least a single top-quality embryo.
It can be hence concluded that insufficient levels of Vitamin D affects and hinders the chances of getting pregnant via IVF. Further, randomized and controlled trials are yet to be carried out to support the relationship between sufficient serum levels of Vitamin D with effective results of success rates, relating to the chances of getting pregnant via In Vitro Fertilization according to the research authors.