The objectives of the study were to evaluate the morphological quality of oocytes in repeat breeder and early lactation cows and to determine the possible associations between the quality of oocytes and a range of blood metabolites. Oocyte quality and a range of metabolites were compared between 29 repeat breeder and 13 early lactation cows. The yield of oocytes from the repeat breeders was lower than that from the early lactation cows (4.4 ± 0.2 vs 5.4 ± 0.6, p < 0.05). Percentages of abnormal oocytes for the repeat breeders and the early lactation cows were 52.5% and 37.9%, respectively (p < 0.001). An excess of abnormal oocytes to normal was found in 55.2% of the studied repeat breeders (65.8% vs 34.2%, p < 0.05). Total protein, glucose and aspartate aminotransferase did not differ (p > 0.05) between the repeat breeders with an excess of abnormal oocytes (81 ± 1.0 g/l, 3.5 ± 1.0 mmol/l and 68.5 ± 3.7 U/l), those with the prevalence of normal oocytes (84 ± 1.0 g/l, 3.6 ± 0.1 mmol/l and 73.2 ± 3.5 U/l) and the early lactation cows (83 ± 2.0 g/l, 3.7 ± 0.1 mmol/l and 74.5 ± 3.6 U/I). The repeat breeders with an excess of abnormal oocytes had higher (p < 0.05) urea (5.2 ± 0.2 mmol/l) level than in those with the prevalence of normal oocytes (4.8 ± 0.2 mmol/l) and the early lactation cows (4.7 ± 0.2 mmol/l). A trend for higher total cholesterol and lactate dehydrogenase activity was found in the repeat breeders with an excess of abnormal oocytes. In conclusion, it is suggested that possible causes of repeat breeding in dairy cows may include impaired oocytes. An excess of abnormal oocytes in the repeat breeder cows was associated with elevated blood plasma levels of urea.