It's about time to be aggressive, B6 aggressive in your fertility journey.
If you're trying to conceive, you've likely already thought about eating better, taking better care of your body, and just being prepared for inevitable changes. Sometimes, even with the best-laid plan, it still feels like you need something else. Getting the proper nutrients in your fertility journey is vital. Sometimes having items missing from your diet can cause menstrual cycle irregularities. Menstrual cycle irregularities are missed, delayed, or irregular periods or abnormal bleeding patterns.
One of those nutrients you may be lacking is Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 helps many processes within your body, such as the formation of body proteins, structural compounds, chemical transmitters in the nervous system, red blood cells, and prostaglandins. Prostaglandins control processes like inflammation, blood flow, blood clot formation, and labor induction.
Vitamin B6 supports healthy and regular menstrual cycles – which makes it easier for you to track your ovulation periods and make your uterus more receptive to pregnancy.
Vitamin B6 benefits start with its contributions to the luteal phase of your ovulation cycle. Your luteal phase is the second half of your menstrual cycle. The luteal phase begins after ovulation and ends on the first day of your period.
You'll need your luteal phase at least 12 days to sustain early pregnancy. If you have a short luteal phase, which is also known as LPD (luteal phase defect), you may struggle to carry out an early pregnancy. This is from low levels of progesterone and not enough uterine lining.
Let's first look more in-depth at what Vitamin B6 is and where you could get it in your diet.
What is Vitamin B6?
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that naturally occurs in some foods. Some of those foods include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Leafy greens
Since Vitamin B6 is not naturally occurring in our bodies with some supplementation. That could be a vitamin or food item.
Some immediate benefits you could see what additional Vitamin B6:
- Mood regulation
- Prevention of anemia based on an increase in hemoglobin production
- Limits some PMS symptoms such as irritability and fatigue
It might not always be obvious if you're suffering from Vitamin B6, but a good indicator would be if you have other deficiencies in other complex B vitamins like Folate and B12.
What causes Vitamin B6 deficiency?
Some of the common reasons you may have Vitamin B6 deficiency includes:
- Poor absorption through foods. (Malabsorption disorders)
- Taking drugs or medicine that could deplete vitamin B6 stored in your body
Some potential signs of B6 deficiency include:
- Changes in mood
- Poor immune response, such as getting sick more often
- Tingling in your feet or hands
- Skin rashes that itch (maybe red)
For Vitamin B6 deficiency, you may notice that your skin looks inflamed (dermatitis) with a red, greasy, scaly rash. Your hands and feet may feel numb, like pins and needles are pricking them. Since Vitamin B6 is needed to form your red blood cells, a deficiency can cause anemia. Anemia is when your body lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry enough oxygen to your body's tissues. It is sometimes also called having low hemoglobin.
How does Vitamin B6 help with fertility?
Vitamin B6 impacts your fertility levels through its ability to keep optimal levels of different hormones in your body. Research has shown that giving women vitamin B6 will increase their chance of becoming pregnant.
We briefly discussed your luteal phase and the benefits of Vitamin B6 during it but let's break down more specifically how Vitamin B6 helps. Post ovulation hormones help prepare your body for the implantation of an embryo.
Read More: When to See a Fertility Specialist
Some of the ways Vitamin B6 impacts your fertility levels are:
Vitamin B6 maintains low levels of homocysteine: Homocysteine is an amino acid that, when tested for and shown in high levels, is usually an indication that you’re not getting enough vitamin B12, B6, or Folate in your diet. Having low levels of Vitamin B6 can also impact your egg quality.
Vitamin B6 increases cervical mucus: Cervical mucus is crucial since it transports sperm to the egg. Not only that, it helps nourish and protect both the egg and the sperm. Vitamin B6 helps create more cervical mucus and helps move sperm to the right places.
Vitamin B6 supports your menstrual cycle: If you can find a way to make your ovulation tracking easier, you take it. As mentioned before, it helps your luteal phase, when your uterus is more receptive to pregnancy.
Vitamin B6 helps with optimal progesterone levels: An essential hormone is a progesterone, which Vitamin B6 can raise. Progesterone is a hormone released by your ovaries to regulate your menstrual cycle. A great thing to have while preparing for pregnancy.
Vitamin B6 can help increase (or restore) libido: Looking for a boost for sex drive? The hormone progesterone does so much! Vitamin B6 can help expand it with progesterone!
Vitamin B6 improves PMS symptoms.
There have been several studies showing how Vitamin B6 can improve PMS. While PMS can be caused by a range of factors unrelated to Vitamin B6 deficiency alone, most women with PMS showed improved symptoms once they started supplementing with Vitamin B6.
Take heart. Pink Stork is here to support your fertility journey. If you have any questions, reach out to our Customer Obsession Team. For even more group support, join our Pink Stork Community on Facebook. The group features thousands of women that share their fertility stories and support.