Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 273–283 | Cite as

Shedding new light on female fertility: The role of vitamin D

  • Giovanna MuscogiuriEmail author
  • Barbara Altieri
  • Cristina de Angelis
  • Stefano Palomba
  • Rosario Pivonello
  • Annamaria Colao
  • Francesco Orio


In the last decades several studies suggested that vitamin D is involved in the modulation of the reproductive process in women due to the expression of VDR and 1α-hydroxylase in reproductive tissues such as ovary, uterus, placenta, pituitary and hypothalamus. Vitamin D has also a role in the regulation of sex hormone steroidogenesis. Increasing evidence suggests that vitamin D might have a regulatory role in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)-associated symptoms, including ovulatory dysfunction, insulin resistance and hyperandrogenism. Vitamin D deficiency also has been reported to contribute to the pathogenesis of endometriosis due to its immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties. Although most of the studies supported a role of vitamin D in the onset of these diseases, randomized controlled trials to assess the efficacy of vitamin D supplementation have never been performed. In this review we critically discuss the role of vitamin D in female fertility, starting from in vitro and in vivo studies, focusing our attention on the two most frequent causes of female infertility: PCOS and endometriosis.


Vitamin D Female fertility PCOS Endometriosis 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanna Muscogiuri
    • 1
    Email author
  • Barbara Altieri
    • 2
  • Cristina de Angelis
    • 1
  • Stefano Palomba
    • 3
  • Rosario Pivonello
    • 4
  • Annamaria Colao
    • 4
  • Francesco Orio
    • 5
  1. 1.Ios and Coleman Medicina Futura Medical Center, Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Section of EndocrinologyUniversity “Federico II”NaplesItaly
  2. 2.Division of Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases, Institute of Medical PathologyCatholic University of the Sacred HeartRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyArcispedale Santa Maria Nuova-IRCCSReggio EmiliaItaly
  4. 4.Department of Clinical Medicine and SurgeryUniversity “Federico II”NaplesItaly
  5. 5.Department of Sports Science and Wellness“Parthenope” University NaplesNaplesItaly

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