With a few weeks still left in summer, now is the time to boost your fertility by spending time outside in the sun!
Whether you’re thinking of having a baby, considering having your fertility tested, or are currently undergoing IVF recent studies show that a good dose of summer sunshine can help boost your fertility. The same research found that women undergoing IVF who had been exposed to sunlight and soaring temperatures among other environmental factors the month before had a 1/3 higher pregnancy rates!
Sunshine and Your Fertility
Getting some extra sun can help enhance your fertility. Sunlight affects the level of the hormone melatonin and a key vitamin we’ll discuss in a minute, both of which have a role in regulating women’s reproductive cycles. That’s why our fertility experts recommend making an effort to spend time outdoors because it can give you the edge you need in your journey to parenthood.
Taking long walks or a hike, kayaking, and gardening can all provide the additional time in the sun you need to boost your fertility. Clearly, you’ll want to take precautions like using quality sunscreen to protect yourself from sunburn while getting additional sunlight.
Why Does Extra Sun Help?
Vitamin D is the key to positively increasing your fertility. Vitamin D is crucial for the reproductive health. Having a vitamin D deficiency can reduce hormone levels, ovulation, and sperm production. Although vitamin D can be found in food, the main way we get this important vitamin is through sunlight. For people who don’t spend large amounts of time outdoors, getting enough sunlight for vitamin D production can be difficult.
When you have adequate levels of vitamin D, women can produce larger amounts of progesterone and estrogen. These work to both regulate your menstrual cycle and can also improve ovulation.
Vitamin D plays a large role in not just your fertility, but it can boost fertility in men as well. It may surprise you, but vitamin D actually has an effect on testosterone which impacts a man’s libido. Plus, vitamin D aids in the formation of sperm. Men’s sperm has been found to be up to twice as active in the summer months too!
Get outdoors in the fine weather and soak up as much Vitamin D a possible, which is necessary for healthy bone and embryo development once pregnant. UNC Fertility recommend you add some time outdoors with an outdoor workout class; take Pilates or yoga outside and get some sun while relieving some stress!
Getting Vitamin D
You can find vitamin D in a number of foods including milk, cereal, eggs, and fish. But, the amount we take in through food is not a sufficient amount. The majority of the vitamin D your body needs is produced chemically when sunlight is absorbed by skin.
This association between sunlight and fertility may be why pregnancy rates are often higher in the summer months, as this is when people are most likely receiving adequate sun exposure.
If your fertility doctor says it’s alright, you may want to add a vitamin D supplement into your routine.
Ready to Get Outdoors?
Ready to stop reading and get outside to experience the outdoors? Here are some of our favorite local spots where you can go and get some sun!
Remember: even before conception, more sunshine can boost your fertility and increase your odds of pregnancy. Research shows that vitamin D is a factor in improving egg quality, IVF implantation rates, and-of course-successful pregnancy outcomes. Plus, melatonin helps control the timing of female menstrual cycles. Both come from spending extra time outside!
For more information on sunshine and fertility for men and women, speak with a fertility expert at UNC Fertility.