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

In this retrospective cohort study, we measured vitamin D levels in 99 recipients of egg donation. Nonreplete vitamin D status [25(OH)D<30 ng/mL] was associated with lower clinical pregnancy and live-birth rates.

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Briana J. Rudick, M.D., Sue Ingles, Ph.D., Karine Chung, M.D., M.S.C.E., Frank Z. Stanczyk, Ph.D., Richard Paulson, M.D., Kristin Bendikson, M.D.

Volume 101, Issue 2, Pages 447-452, February 2014



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.


Retrospective cohort study.


Academic tertiary care center.


Ninety-nine recipients of egg donation at University of Southern California Fertility.


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.


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.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.