Influence of vitamin D levels on in vitro fertilization outcomes in donor-recipient cycles

Fertil Steril. 2014 Feb;101(2):447-52. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.10.008. Epub 2013 Nov 5.


Objective: To elucidate the role of vitamin D in reproduction by examining the relationship between recipient vitamin D levels and pregnancy rates in donor-recipient IVF cycles.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Academic tertiary care center.

Patient(s): Ninety-nine recipients of egg donation at University of Southern California Fertility.

Intervention(s): Serum was collected from egg donor recipients before ET and was tested for vitamin D levels [25(OH)D].

Main outcome measure(s): Clinical pregnancy as defined by sonographic presence of a heartbeat at 7-8 weeks of gestation.

Result(s): In a diverse population of 99 recipients (53% Caucasian, 20% Asian, 16% Hispanic, 7% African American), adjusted clinical pregnancy rates were lower among vitamin D-deficient recipients than among vitamin D-replete recipients (37% vs. 78%). Live-birth rates were 31% among vitamin D-deficient recipients, compared with 59% among vitamin D-replete recipients. There were no differences in adjusted clinical pregnancy and live-birth rates among recipients who were vitamin D deficient [25(OH)D<20 ng/mL] vs. among those who were vitamin D insufficient [20 ng/mL ≤ 25(OH)D<30 ng/mL].

Conclusion(s): Nonreplete vitamin D status [25(OH)D<30 ng/mL] was associated with lower pregnancy rates in recipients of egg donation. Since the oocyte donor-recipient model is able to separate the impact of vitamin D on oocyte vs. endometrium, these data suggest that the effects of vitamin D may be mediated through the endometrium.

Keywords: 25-hydroxyvitamin D; IVF; Vitamin D; endometrium; race; recipients of egg donation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro / standards*
  • Humans
  • Oocyte Donation / standards*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate / trends*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Vitamin D