Vitamin D receptors are present in the female reproductive tract. Studies on the association between serum vitamin D level and pregnancy rate of in vitro fertilization (IVF) showed inconsistent results and focused on a single fresh or frozen embryo transfer cycle. The objective of our study was to evaluate if serum vitamin D level before ovarian stimulation was associated with the cumulative live birth rate (CLBR) of the first IVF cycle.
Retrospective cohort study.
Women who underwent the first IVF cycle from 2012 to 2016 at a university-affiliated reproductive medicine center were included. Archived serum samples taken before ovarian stimulation were analyzed for 25(OH)D levels using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.
In total, 1113 had pregnancy outcome from the completed IVF cycle. The median age (25th–75th percentile) of the women was 36 (34–38) years and serum 25(OH)D level was 53.4 (41.9–66.6) nmol/L. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (less than 50 nmol/L) was 42.2%. The CLBR in the vitamin D-deficient group was significantly lower compared to the non-deficient group (43.9%, 208/474 vs 50.9%, 325/639, P = 0.021, unadjusted), and after controlling for women’s age, BMI, antral follicle count, type and duration of infertility. There were no differences in the clinical/ongoing pregnancy rate, live birth rate and miscarriage rate in the fresh cycle between the vitamin D deficient and non-deficient groups.
Vitamin D deficiency was prevalent in infertile women in subtropical Hong Kong. The CLBR of the first IVF cycle in the vitamin D-deficient group was significantly lower compared to the non-deficient group.