A recent study published in the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology found both vitamin D deficiency and autoimmunity are independent risk factors for female infertility.
The researchers conducted a cross-sectional study to evaluate the relationship between vitamin D status, autoimmunity and infertility among women. Patients were considered cases if they were diagnosed with infertility or recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA) at the Polymedical Center for Prevention of Recurrent Spontaneous Abortion in Rome, Italy.
A total of 70 infertile women and 105 women with recurrent spontaneous abortions met this criteria. In addition, 250 healthy controls were included for comparison. All participants received a blood draw to measure their vitamin D, calcium and parathyroid (PTH) levels.
Here is what the researchers found:
- Infertile women experienced significantly lower vitamin D levels (p = 0.03) and a higher prevalence of autoimmune disease (p = 0.007) compared to fertile women.
- Autoimmune disease was linked with a 2.2 increased odds of female infertility (OR: 2.2; p = 0.047).
- Higher vitamin D levels provided a protective effect for female infertility (OR: 0.96; p = 0.041).
The researchers concluded,
“We described that having vitamin D deficiency and suffering from an [autoimmune disease] are independent risk factors for women primary infertility. Supplementation of vitamin D may be useful for pregnancy outcome.”