Use of multivitamins, intake of B vitamins, and risk of ovulatory infertility

Fertil Steril. 2008 Mar;89(3):668-76. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2007.03.089. Epub 2007 Jul 10.


Objective: To examine whether use of multivitamins and intake of specific nutrients in multivitamins is associated with ovulatory infertility.

Design: A prospective cohort study.

Setting: The Nurses' Health Study II.

Patient(s): Eighteen thousand five hundred fifty-five married, premenopausal women without a history of infertility who attempted a pregnancy or became pregnant between 1991 and 1999.

Intervention(s): None, observational study.

Main outcome measure(s): Incident reports of infertility caused by anovulation.

Result(s): During 8 years of follow-up, 438 women reported infertility caused by ovulatory disorder. There was an inverse association between frequency of multivitamin use and ovulatory infertility. The multivariate-adjusted relative risk (95% confidence interval) of ovulatory infertility was 0.88 (0.60, 1.28) for women consuming two tablets per week or less, 0.69 (0.51, 0.95) for women consuming three to five tablets per week, and 0.59 (0.46, 0.75) for women consuming six or more tablets per week, when compared with women who did not use these supplements (P, trend <.001). Folic acid appeared to explain part of the association between multivitamin supplement use and risk of ovulatory infertility.

Conclusion(s): Regular use of multivitamin supplements may decrease the risk of ovulatory infertility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anovulation / complications
  • Anovulation / epidemiology
  • Anovulation / physiopathology
  • Anovulation / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infertility, Female / epidemiology
  • Infertility, Female / etiology
  • Infertility, Female / physiopathology
  • Infertility, Female / prevention & control*
  • Life Style
  • Odds Ratio
  • Ovulation / drug effects*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Vitamin B Complex / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*


  • Drug Combinations
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Folic Acid