IVF Specialist Dr. Monikaa Chawla Tells How to Double Your Chances of IVF Success

Back to Expert

IVF Specialist Dr. Monikaa Chawla Tells How to Double Your Chances of IVF Success

Posted 17 Aug 2017

Pregnancy & Childbirth

Dr. Monikaa Chawla MD FRCOG (UK)

IVF Specialist Dr. Monikaa Chawla Tells How to Double Your Chances of IVF Success

We all know that the heat during the peak of summer in most countries, including the UAE, is sometimes unbearable. We manage it by hiding out in our apartments and offices with the AC on full blast. But it’s not all bad news – and for those trying to conceive through IVF, it may be just the kind of heat you want, with recent studies highlighting that with the right amount of Vitamin D from the sun can double your chances of a successful IVF!

In the UAE, more than 85% of residents suffer from a deficiency of Vitamin D and the condition seems to be extensive during summer - one reason for this could be due to the lack of outdoor activities. It would be a good idea to involve yourself with some outdoor activities to help increase the Vitamin D that your body needs. Always remember to make sure you have all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs to function properly, which is an important part of taking care of your overall health.

Let the sun shine in

A dose of sunshine is the best natural source of Vitamin D and can substantially increase your chances of IVF success. We have always known how Vitamin D helps in pregnancy and in the development of your new born baby. But now, there is a growing body of research highlighting its contribution to positive IVF treatment outcomes as well.

Importance of Vitamin D in pregnancy

IVF Success DubaiYour body needs vitamin D to maintain proper levels of calcium and phosphorus, which help build your baby's bones and teeth. Vitamin D, known as the “sunshine” vitamin, enhances and helps to regulate the intestinal absorption of essential minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc. These levels are maintained through either dietary ingestion or through the skins exposure to sunlight. 

What happens if your body doesn’t get enough Vitamin D?

Vitamin D deficiency is common during pregnancy. Inadequate vitamin D can lead to abnormal bone growth, fractures, or rickets in newborns. Some studies link vitamin D deficiency to a higher risk of pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, preterm birth, and low birth weight, but more research is needed to confirm these links. The symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency can be subtle. They may include achy muscles, weakness, bone pain, and softened bones, which may lead to fractures. You can also have a vitamin D deficiency without any symptoms. And if that happens while you're pregnant, your baby can suffer a deficiency, too.

Could Vitamin D also contribute to IVF success?

So getting a tan this summer might just boost your chances for a successful IVF treatment. Researchers followed 154 women who were vitamin D deficient and 181 women who had sufficient levels of vitamin D in their blood. The women who had sufficient vitamin D were nearly twice as likely to conceive through their IVF cycle as their deficient counterparts. Women who had vitamin D levels of at least 20 ng/ml in their blood were considered to have sufficient levels of the hormone. Levels of 30 ng/ml are recommended for general health. However this is not always the true, the result may vary based on a person’s race. Briana Rudick at Columbia University Medical Center in New York and her partners studied vitamin D levels and IVF achievement rates in white Hispanic, white non-Hispanic, and Asian women from south-east Asia and the Indian subcontinent. All 188 ladies were having IVF.

Of these ladies, just 42 percent had the suggested levels of vitamin D – a little more than a third had low levels, while a fifth were deemed insufficient.

The analysts found that white ladies who were vitamin D packed were four times more inclined to have a fruitful pregnancy versus ladies of a similar race who were lacking in the vitamin.

What steps can you take to get Vitamin D?

IVF DubaiResearch suggests sensible sun exposure (usually 5-10 minutes of exposure of the arms and legs or the hands, arms, and face, 2 or 3 times per week) can help. However, the best way to really ensure adequate vitamin D is through simple supplementation. When supplementing, your choices will be between two forms of vitamin D. Ergocalciferol is the vegetarian form of vitamin D and cholecalciferol is the animal-sourced form, usually derived from fish liver oil or lanolin from sheep.

Practices that reduce Vitamin D

  • Sunscreen: SPF 50 may prevent skin cancer, but it also blocks vitamin D production
  • Fat cells: obese patients produce vitamin D less rapidly than patients of normal weight
  • Melanin: Darker-skinned people produce vitamin D at a slower rate than those who have fair skin. The pigment in dark skin (melanin) doesn't absorb as much UV radiation
  • Age: Older people produce vitamin D more slowly. Among the population of reproductive age, however, the effect of age is minimal
  • Latitude: Northern latitudes, with their longer winters and shorter summers, provide less opportunity for sun exposure

For further information on IVF, contact Dr. Monikaa.

Follow @Enritschinglives on Facebook
Share this article
Views | 996


2 people have commented this blog.

Post Comments

Claire says:

10 months 3 weeks ago
Can you share with us other natural products or remedies that we can eat/apply to increase our chances of IVF success, please? I know so many couples who have gone down this path to start a family and after many cycles and alot of money, have ended up frustrated, disillusioned, almost broke - and the relationship broken. How could all these points be avoided by having done some prep work that doesn't require lots of pills and medicine, prior to the IVF treatment? Claire

Felice says:

1 year 3 weeks ago
This is great advice that I'll be sure to pass on to alot of my 'hoping to get pregnant' girlfriends who live in the Middle East and so have no reason not to get enough Vit. D from the sun!

Dr_Monikaa_Chawla says:

1 year 1 week ago
Thank you Felice for your positive Feedback, stay tuned for more blogs :)

Recent Posts Category