Here’s how vitamin B12 affects fertility, plus tips for getting more vitamin B12 in your diet so you can get pregnant. Both male and female fertility can be seriously affected by something as simple as a vitamin B12 deficiency.
“Vitamin B12 deficiency is associated with infertility,” says hematologist Michael Bennett, M.D. in Could it be B12? “Pregnancy may occur in the presence of B12 deficiency but may be associated with recurrent early fetal loss.”
Plus, a deficiency of B12 leads to reduced sperm counts and sperm motility. To learn more about the effects of this vitamin on fertility rates, read Could It Be B12?: An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses.
And, read on to learn how vitamin B12 deficiency contributes to infertility – and what you can eat to increase vitamin B12 in your diet. This book also discusses how a vitamin B12 deficiency affects heart disease, autism, and other medical conditions.
How Vitamin B12 Affects Fertility Rates
“Doctors have reported successful pregnancies in once-infertile women following therapy for B12 deficiency,” write Pacholok and Stuart in Could it be B12? “Yet often, sadly, this deficiency is overlooked even by infertility specialists until women have undergone months or even years of unsuccessful treatment. As a result, many couples spend thousands of dollars and suffer disappointment after disappointment, when treatment with B1 injections might have solved their problem.”
These authors say researchers don’t know exactly why a vitamin B12 deficiency makes it difficult to get pregnant and carry the baby to term. The deficiency could interfere with ovulation or normal cell division – and even affect how the fertilized ovum is implanted in the uterine lining.
Whatever the exact link is between vitamin B12 deficiency and female or male infertility, these authors say that a B12 test may improve the chances of getting pregnant naturally. Also — it may be wise to avoid certain foods when you’re trying to conceive a baby.
Foods High in Vitamin B12 (from highest to lowest)
- Mollusks, clams, cooked
- Liver, beef, braised
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Trout, rainbow, wild, cooked
- Salmon, sockeye, cooked
- Trout, rainbow, farmed, cooked
- Beef, top sirloin, lean, cooked
- Cheeseburger, double patty
- Yogurt, plain, skim
- Haddock, cooked
- Clams, breaded, fried
- Tuna, white, canned
- Pork, cured, ham, lean only
- Egg, hard boiled
- American pasteurized cheese
- Chicken breast, roasted
Eat Foods High in Vitamin B12 to Get Pregnant
Vitamin B12 doesn’t just help you get pregnant, it affects your developing baby! “Insufficent B12 in the developing infant is linked to serious and potentially fatal problems, including neural tube defects and neurological abnormalities that can lead to mental retardation or autism,” write Pacholok and Stuart in Could it be B12?.
Don’t let this alarm you – it’s easy to get enough vitamin B12 if you eat a healthy, balanced diet. Just pay attention to the B12 levels in your food; if you’re not getting enough, consider taking a vitamin B12 supplement. And you might want to read How Food Affects Female Fertility.
For more tips on vitamins and getting pregnant, read Fertility Diet – 5 Delicious, Vitamin Rich Foods for Fertility.
If you have any questions or thoughts on vitamin B12 and fertility, please comment below…