Vitamin D Helps with Menstrual Cramps and Infertility
Spring is starting to finally spring in Vancouver, and hopefully we will start getting less of those dreary cloudy days and more gloriously sunny ones. Because we tend to be more sun-deprived here in Vancouver, it is very important to maintain healthy levels of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is not only known to decrease depression and boost the immune system, but recent studies have shown that Vitamin D also helps to decrease menstrual cramps and increase fertility.
Uterine contractions, triggered by prostaglandins, are a normal part of menstruation in order to help expel the lining. Prostaglandins are also associated with activation of the inflammatory response and production of pain. Higher levels of prostaglandins are linked to more severe menstrual cramps. But Vitamin D is known to be anti-inflammatory as it decreases prostaglandins, and researchers have found that women had significant reduction of menstrual pain after large doses of Vitamin D.
Studies have also shown that Vitamin D is known to improve fertility in both men and women. In men, it helps to increase testosterone, supporting sperm development and a healthy libido. It also plays a role in the development of the nuclei of sperm cells and helps to maintain semen quality and count. In women, it's been shown to have a positive impact on IVF success, endometriosis and PCOS. It helps to support heathy levels of progesterone and estrogen, which supports a balanced menstrual cycle, improving chances of conception.
A healthy level of consistent Vitamin D is the best approach and the best way to get it is through sunshine. Talk to your healthcare practitioner about other healthy sources of Vitamin D and appropriate levels of supplementation for your particular case.
Enjoy the sunshine!