Vitamin D and female fertility

Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Jun;26(3):145-50. doi: 10.1097/GCO.0000000000000065.


Purpose of review: Apart from the well known effects of vitamin D on maintaining calcium homeostasis and promoting bone mineralization, there is some evidence suggesting that vitamin D also modulates human reproductive processes. We will review the most interesting and relevant studies on vitamin D and female fertility published over the past year.

Recent findings: In the past year, several observational studies reported a better in-vitro fertilization outcome in women with sufficient vitamin D levels (≥30 ng/ml), which was mainly attributed to vitamin D effects on the endometrium. One randomized controlled trial found an increased endometrial thickness in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) receiving vitamin D during intrauterine insemination cycles. Further, vitamin D supplementation had a beneficial effect on serum lipids in PCOS women. Vitamin D treatment improved endometriosis in a rat model and increased vitamin D intake was related to a decreased risk of incident endometriosis. Vitamin D was also favorably associated with primary dysmenorrhea, uterine leiomyoma, and ovarian reserve in late reproductive aged women.

Summary: In women undergoing in-vitro fertilization, a sufficient vitamin D level (≥30 ng/ml) should be obtained. Vitamin D supplementation might improve metabolic parameters in women with PCOS. A high vitamin D intake might be protective against endometriosis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Bone Density
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Dysmenorrhea / diet therapy
  • Dysmenorrhea / etiology*
  • Dysmenorrhea / prevention & control
  • Endometriosis / diet therapy
  • Endometriosis / etiology*
  • Endometriosis / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infertility, Female / diet therapy
  • Infertility, Female / etiology*
  • Leiomyoma / diet therapy
  • Leiomyoma / etiology*
  • Leiomyoma / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / diet therapy
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / etiology*
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Vitamin D / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diet therapy
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*


  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D