Association of vitamin D metabolites with embryo development and fertilization in women with and without PCOS undergoing subfertility treatment

Thomas Keith Cunningham, Victoria Allgar, Soha Dargham, Eric Kilpatrick, Thozhukat Sathyapalan, Stephen Maguiness, Haira R. Mokhtar Rudin, Nour M. Abdul Ghani, Aishah Latiff, Stephen Atkin

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Objective: The relationship between fertilization rates and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH) 2 D 3 ), 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 (25(OH)D 2 ), 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D 3 ), 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (24,25(OH) 2 D 3 ), and 25-hydroxy-3epi-Vitamin D3 (3epi25(OH)D 3 ) concentrations in age and weight matched women with and without PCOS was studied. Methods: Fifty nine non-obese women, 29 with PCOS, and 30 non-PCOS undergoing IVF, matched for age and weight were included. Serum vitamin D metabolites were taken the menstrual cycle prior to commencing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation. Results: Vitamin D metabolites did not differ between PCOS and controls; however, 25(OH)D 3 correlated with embryo fertilization rates in PCOS patients alone (p = 0.03). For all subjects, 3epi25(OH)D 3 correlated with fertilization rate (p < 0.04) and negatively with HOMA-IR (p < 0.02); 25(OH)D 2 correlated with cleavage rate, G3D3 and blastocyst (p < 0.05; p < 0.009; p < 0.002, respectively). 24,25(OH) 2 D 3 correlated with AMH, antral follicle count, eggs retrieved and top quality embryos (G3D3) (p < 0.03; p < 0.003; p < 0.009; p < 0.002, respectively), and negatively with HOMA-IR (p < 0.01). 1,25(OH) 2 D 3 did not correlate with any of the metabolic or embryo parameters. In slim PCOS, 25(OH)D 3 correlated with increased fertilization rates in PCOS, but other vitamin D parameters did not differ to matched controls. Conclusion: 3epi25(OH)D 3 , 25(OH)D 2 , and 24,25(OH) 2 D 3 , but not 1,25(OH) 2 D 3 , were associated with embryo parameters suggesting that vitamin D metabolites other than 1,25(OH) 2 D 3 are important in fertility.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Issue numberJAN
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019



  • Fertilization rates
  • PCOS
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D epimers
  • Vitamin D metabolites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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