The Effects of Vitamin D on Reproduction in Women and Men

Posted on July 21, 2015 by MD

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for a healthy body and strong bones. Some research has also shown that it can help fight off colds and battle depression. But did you know that vitamin D can also have an effect on fertility in both women and men?

Vitamin D may hold the key for many women and men struggling with fertility issues. Research by Dr Merhi and others have shown that individuals with higher levels of vitamin D had increased fertility rates. That study indicated that without sufficient levels of vitamin D, reproductive tissues did not function at optimum levels.

Increasing levels of vitamin D in women can positively affect their reproduction rates by boosting the female sex hormones progesterone and estrogen, all while regulating the menstrual cycle. Vitamin D has also been shown to improve sperm count and quality as well as increase testosterone levels in men.

Though going out in the sun to catch some rays may seem ideal to boost your vitamin D levels, other sources of vitamin D are much safer than the sun’s rays. Additionally, some areas in the U.S., such as the Northeast, have limited sun exposure throughout the year. One of the easiest ways to increase blood vitamin D levels is to consume a vitamin-D-rich diet. The minimum recommended daily dose of vitamin D for adults is 600 international units (IUs). Try adding the following foods into your normal daily diet:


Fatty or oily types of fish are not only known for their heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain a good amount of vitamin D. Just a three-ounce fillet of sockeye salmon contains approximately 450 IUs of vitamin D.

Fortified milk

Almost all types of cow’s milk in the U.S. are fortified with vitamin D. An eight-ounce glass of milk contains at least 100 IUs of vitamin D. Some soy, rice and almond milks are fortified as well, but read the label to be sure.

Fortified orange juice

If you aren’t a fan of milk, some orange juices are fortified with vitamin D. Like milk, an eight-ounce glass typically holds around 100 IUs of vitamin D. Again, be sure to check the label.


One of the most obvious alternatives to the sun are vitamin D supplements. These will help you reach your daily minimum easily. However, keep in mind that very large amounts of vitamin D can be toxic. Talk to your doctor about other medications you are taking and discuss the supplements that might be right for you.


Eggs are an easy way to add vitamin D into your diet as they are used in many recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts. Be sure to use the entire egg, as vitamin D is obtained from the yolk and not the whites. One yolk gives you approximately 40 IUs.

Additionally, it is important to avoid processed foods, incorporate more organic produce, limit red meat, and reduce alcohol and caffeine intake to further enhance your chances of reproduction. If you have questions about fertility and would like to speak with a specialist, call the team at New York Reproductive Wellness at (516) 612-8466 or (347) 220-3754 today.



American Society for Reproductive Medicine
College of American Pathologists
Fertile Hope
Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology
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