Is there a better season to have an IVF procedure done?

Ahhhh Springtime, that magical time during the year (at least here in the mid-atlantic region of the U.S) that plants come back to life, temperatures rise to thaw us all out and according to some research: people become more active or frisky. It also appears to be the best time for a female to have oocyte retrieval after stimulation for IVF with ICSI.

A recent study was completed in Brazil on whether or not the time of year affected the fertilization rate during an IVF cycle. What the study found was quite interesting, Spring IVF procedures with ICSI had higher fertilization rates than any other season by approximately 4+% more depending on the comparison season. The rates were specifically:

Spring- 73.5%

Summer- 68.7%

Autumn- 69.0%

Winter-67.9%

There were approximately 1900 participants and they were organizaed into groups based on when they would have their oocyte retrieval. What was interesting in the study was that while the oocyte retrieval was higher in Spring, it did not effect the pregnancy rates, which remained at 33% for all seasons nor did the study take into consideration how the male’s sperm was affected by season.

The full article can be read here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303644004577524824251585782.html?mod=WSJ_hps_LEFTTopStories

Male fertility and seasons:

There have been a variety of research studies throughout the past few years on the effect of the seasons on both males and females sexual activity. Previous studies have looked into how the seasons change a male’s sexual activity and sperm count.

Studies in 2009 showed that sexual activity appears to be low in Spring, but high in late summer/early autumn. According to some studies, the male hormone testosterone is higher in the end of summer resulting in more sexually active males in the fall. Another study found that male sperm counts are higher in spring due to less sexual activity and higher temperatures.

What we do know from studies is that when there are warmer/not hot, but “agreeably-warm” temperatures and periods of longer daylight, both male and female fertility rates appear to be more successful. Will you be testing the circadian method this Spring?

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