Obstetrics Gynecology – MD, MSC, MMSC, Phd – Fertility Specialist

How does sunshine and vitamin D affect your fertility levels?

If you think that you have done everything you can to enhance your fertility, there may be a parameter that you have not yet considered. Do you know that the word sunbathing is not accidental? The healing properties of the essential oils, have long been known in ancient times. But how does it positively affect your fertility?

The vitamin of the sun

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, dissolved in lipids present in the body, and stored there for further use. Helps absorb calcium and phosphorus, essential for maintaining strong bones. That is why its lack is associated with osteoporosis.
Vitamin D is produced in our skin, through direct exposure to sunlight.
Research shows that both men and women experience an increase in their fertility from exposure to vitamin D.

How much does it help?

It is still not entirely clear how much vitamin D affects both male and female fertility. However, recent research shows that maintaining vitamin D levels at normal levels can help regulate ovulation and balance reproductive hormones. In addition, normal levels of vitamin D have been shown to boost sperm count and sperm quality, compared to men who have low levels of “sun vitamin”.

The place of living

Several studies have revealed strong links between a person’s location – and consequently his or her exposure to the sun – and his or her fertility levels. For women and men living in Northern Europe, vitamin D levels are noticeably elevated during the hot and sunny summer months. Men showed better sperm quality during the summer, while in the winter months, sperm counts appear reduced. Similarly, women appeared to produce fewer eggs during the winter, as they had less sun exposure and reduced amounts of vitamin D. This made conception more difficult during the winter sunless months.

What can you do to increase your vitamin D intake?

Straight from the sun
Of course, the best source of vitamin D is directly from the sun. Experts recommend sun exposure, ideally for 10-15 minutes, during hours when the sunshine is not intense (until 11:00 and after 17:00).

Medicinal supplements

If vitamin D intake through the sun is not possible, be careful not to leave your body exposed to its lack. There are too many vitamin D supplements and your doctor will advise you on which one is best for you and what dosage you need.Diet

Another option, to ensure the necessary intake of vitamin D, is to enrich your diet with foods that will supply you with it. For example, milk is one of the best sources of vitamin D, but it is not the only one! You can get vitamin D from orange juice, salmon (and other fish), mushrooms, meat and eggs.

Sunbathing and skin cancer

Ultraviolet (UV) B radiation with a wavelength of 290-315nm, penetrates the bare skin and converts 7-dihydrocholesterol into provitamin D3, which is then converted to vitamin D3. However, there are limitations to UV exposure, such as the seasons, place of residence, time of day, and age. The radiation that converts vitamin D to the skin is of the same wavelength as that that causes sunburn, and the use of sunscreen has been shown to inhibit its production.
In the winter months things are easier. As for summer, you should just make sure to expose yourself to the sun only during the hours when the sunlight is not intense (early morning or afternoon hours) and for a short period of time (not more than 15 minutes) every day.
In any case, you should follow the instructions of your dermatologist for a safe exposure to the sun, in order to enjoy the benefits it offers you, without risks.