Tuesday, March 22, 2011

PCOS and Vitamin D

So I haven't done a ton of research in this area (maybe I need to go back to school), but I have strong beliefs there is a connection between Vitamin D deficiency and PCOS. A few months ago I got a comment on my blog mentioning the connection, and I had never given it any thought before that time. I've never had my Vitamin D levels tested, but I do live in Syracuse where winters are long and grey. Here is a good description of our winters I found online:

Worst Winter cities
1. SYRACUSE, NEW YORK “Cold,” “clammy,” “snowy” are three great ways to describe Syracuse weather—from October through April. Winter starts very early and lasts late, with plenty of snow and extremely cold temperatures. Winter daytime temperatures average in the lower 30s, with nighttime lows in the teens, but temperatures as low as minus 25°F have been recorded. Snow also makes winter uncomfortable in Syracuse, averaging almost 120 inches per season. During the winter of 2009–2010, Syracuse was again the winner of the prestigious “Golden Snowball Award,” celebrating the city with most snowfall for the winter in upstate New York, beating out such snowy cities as Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, and Binghamton. Syracuse also made our Farmers’ Almanac “10 Worst” list in 2002. Another reason why this city makes the worst winter weather list — December, January, and February are typically gloomy, with Syracuse receiving only onethird of the sunshine possible, because of considerable cloud cover.
So without ever having my levels tested, it is safe to assume I am deficient from this description, at least in the winter months. In late November I starting taking large doses of Vitamin D (5000 IU's) and in December ovulated and got pregnant. My RE thinks I ovulated as an effect of the Lupron, but would you really be able to see anything on ultrasound 2 weeks after ovulation? I think I ovulated by myself before I started the Lupron and partially due to my increased Vitamin D intake. 

My RE doesn't think I ovulate regularly, and I'm not sure what I think about this. In reality, we only "tried" one month and then didn't really try in December and got pregnant. All of the other months since I first starting seeing a RE in August I was on BCP's trying to shrink my cyst. Up until that time we had been preventing pregnancy although I had stopped taking the pill.

 My RE ran a progesterone test on day 21 one cycle, but I was on the pill so I wasn't likely to ovulate. My ovaries appear polycystic on ultrasound and under laparoscopy, which means I have had difficulty ovulating in the past and perhaps present. I have been trying to get ahold of my RE this week to get the progesterone test done again this month, but no luck so far. I can't wait until the regular nurse is back in the office, because I am getting frustrated. 

If you have PCOS and have difficulty ovulating, you may want to look into Vitamin D. I feel like it has helped me and I continue to take it with high hopes (perhaps too high sometimes). 

Here are some articles from PubMed I found: 
Both are just summaries, but you can get the full text by clicking in the upper right corner.

and some less academic links:

Anyone else take Vitamin D for PCOS or heard anything about the connection?


  1. So interesting that you brought this up, because I started researching it too after reading this blog post a few weeks back (http://aboutplanb.blogspot.com/2010/12/on-vitamin-d.html) You should check it out.

    I went to have my vitD levels tested, and I was very deficient! This is after taking a daily vitamin (with extra vitD), eating lots of vitD rich foods, etc. I was shocked! So I've been on a high dose (5000IU) ever since. I completely agree with you!

  2. I've heard Penn State Hershey Med Center is currently doing a clinical trial on the effects of vitD on insulin sensitivity and psychological health in women with PCOS. I would love to participate and learn more but I'm currently in another study. I can't wait to learn the results of the study.


  3. Very Interesting! Thanks for bring this up, Liz. I will definitely look into it!

  4. I’m glad you brought up these points. It’s so true! My heart goes out to all of you that are in this situation. For all of you who are TTC, here’s a story for you. My husband and I tried to have children for over 3 years. We were contemplating IVF and adoption, but just trying to save up the money for either was an obstacle. Finally, a family member told us about a product called BeeFertile. It’s a natural fertility product. It’s a 2 part kit and has Royal Jelly in it, which is supposed to be really good for increasing fertility. We were skeptical, but decided to try it. It was so much cheaper than having to take fertility testing, etc. So they tell you that it takes 3-6 months for it to work. I’m happy to report that only after 3 months of taking the kit, my hubby and I got a PPT!!! I am due in September!!! For what it’s worth, I try to tell as many people as possible, because we didn’t think we could ever conceive on our own. Now we know we can.