In vitro fertilization (IVF) is more successful in women with sufficient levels of vitamin D.
New research shows that the process, by which an egg is fertilised by sperm outside the body, is most likely to succeed in women with a higher amount of vitamin D their bloodstream.
Scientists analysed a total of 173 women in the study, of which 55% of them reported low levels of vitamin D.
The vitamin, produced by the body from exposure to sunlight, is known to be important for proper calcium metabolism and vital for strong, healthy bones. Now researchers claim that it also plays a crucial role in the success of a clinical pregnancy.
They found that the pregnancy rates per cycle start were higher among women with sufficient levels of vitamin D than those with very low levels, 52.7% compared to 34.7% respectively.
Dr Kimberley Garbedian, from Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, said that women with sufficient vitamin D levels had "significantly higher rates of clinical pregnancy following IVF compared with women with insufficient or deficient levels".
The findings also reveal that overweight women are at a higher risk of vitamin D deficiency, especially those with body mass indexes greater than 40.
Clinical pregnancy was defined by the researchers as "the visibility of an intrauterine sac with ultrasound".
Copyright Press Association 2013