Studies on the frequency distribution of follicle-stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) polymorphisms report conflicting results. It has been suggested that ethnicity might influence these outcomes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the frequency distribution of FSHR polymorphisms at position 680 of exon 10 within a large group of women with fertility problems from different ethnic backgrounds. A total of 1771 women of different ethnic origin (Caucasian, Asian, Hindustani, Creole and Mediterranean) were studied. FSHR single-nucleotide polymorphisms at codon 680 of exon 10 were determined by restriction fragment length polymorphism of amplicons generated by polymerase chain reaction. Genotypes were compared with serum FSH concentrations and between different ethnic groups. A significantly lower number of Asians (10.5%) were found to have the Ser680Ser receptor variant compared with Caucasians (21.5%) and Mediterraneans (22.3%) (P = 0.010). FSH concentrations did not differ between the various ethnic groups, or the different FSHR polymorphisms. In conclusion, the Ser680Ser receptor variant is less common in the Asian subgroup compared with Caucasians and Mediterraneans. This indicates that, when comparing allelic frequency distributions of the FSHR polymorphism variants, ethnic background should be accounted for. FSH concentrations did not differ between FSHR polymorphisms or between ethnic groups. © 2010, Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.