Recent health studies have shown that in women, the higher your vitamin D levels the lower your chance is of having a weak pelvic floor. Out of the women researched, nearly a quarter reported pelvic floor weakness and, regardless of age, those with incontinence had significantly lower vitamin D levels1. On the other hand, women over the age of 50 that didn’t have incontinence had a higher level of Vitamin D.

So how does vitamin D affect your pelvic floor?

Nutrition plays an important role in muscle function and for some time Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to poor muscle strength and loss of muscle mass. Vitamin D receptors are present in our muscles and therefore may have a direct effect on your pelvic floor muscles, so this is important information for those with incontinence.

Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency

Signs that you may have low vitamin D may include aching bones and excessive head sweating, however the only way to know for sure that you have low vitamin D is by having a blood test. Your body absorbs vitamin D from the sun, so you can become deficient during the winter months.

Here are five ways to help with your Vitamin D intake through nutrition:

  • Vitamin D supplements can help you get your daily dose. However, it is important not to overdose on vitamin D and if you are unsure about how much you should be taking, speak to your doctor first.
  • Cod liver oil assists in keeping your bones healthy and also containing not only essential omega 3 fatty acids, but also vitamin D.
  • Eggs also contain some vitamin D and are a convenient way to keep topped up, as they can be incorporated in breakfast, lunch or dinner. Eggs have many health benefits; however moderate intake is advised as they are also high in cholesterol.
  • Fish high in unsaturated fats such as salmon, trout, mackerel and tuna are also good sources of vitamin D.
  • Some milk and juices may be fortified with vitamin D.

Vitamin D has many health benefits but is also important in assisting in pelvic floor health. If you think a lack of Vitamin D is affecting you and your pelvic floor, we recommend you speak to your doctor to check if you’re deficient and how you can increase your intake.

1 Badalian, S. and Rosenbaum, P. (2010) Vitamin D and pelvic floor disorders in women: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

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