For individuals suffering from a deficiency in vitamin B12, fertility problems may be an underlying, often undiagnosed side effect. Vitamin B12 is essential for conceiving a baby, carrying a pregnancy to full term, and providing nourishment in the months that follow. Listed are some ways in which vitamin B12 improves your chances for healthy fertility.
Numerous oft-cited scientific studies have been conducted on the effects of vitamin B12 on fertility; in one, researchers found a strong connection between raised homocysteine levels (a symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency) and increased rate of miscarriage and difficulty conceiving.
Vitamin B12 and DNA
Vitamin B12 is essential for growing healthy cells, as it promotes cellular metabolism. Likewise, a deficiency in vitamin B12 that occurs even before conception can result in poor DNA formation and irregular cell growth, increasing your risk for infertility, miscarriage, and stillborn births. To prevent infertility and complications in pregnancies, women and men should consider checking their vitamin B12 levels before planning a family.
Vitamin B12 and your blood
Vitamin B12 is a crucial nutrient for producing plenty of healthy red blood cells. Without an adequate level of vitamin B12 in your blood, you risk suffering the effect of oxygen depletion caused by a sharp decrease in hemoglobin, which carries vital oxygen to all the various cells of your body.
As a result, you feel fatigued, confused, and dizzy. More importantly, the fetus developing in your body will not receive enough oxygen from red blood cells, and may suffer from developmental problems later in life. (See Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Infants- Developmental Disabilities)
To sustain healthy fertility, it is crucial to maintain normal levels of vitamin B12, either from diet or vitamin B12 supplements.
Vitamin B12 and menstruation
Vitamin B12 also aids in fertility by regulating your hormones, keeping them in balance. Sometimes, difficulties with ovulation or menstruation abnormalities are a result of underlying vitamin B12 deficiency.
“Do I have vitamin B12 deficiency?”
To find out if vitamin B12 deficiency is causing fertility problems, as your doctor for a vitamin B12 blood test. Because blood screenings for vitamin B12 deficiency are not always reliable, it’s important to be aware of the early warning signs of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia.
Symptoms indicating vitamin B12 deficiency may include:
- Constant fatigue
- Memory problems
- Painful tingling and numbness in the hands and feet
- Partial paralysis
- Electric-like shocks
- Sore, red tongue
- Burning sensations
- Difficulty controlling arm or leg movements
- Difficulty balancing on one leg
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