Summer in Texas Means Heat -- & Babies
I've noticed in my years of practicing reproductive medicine that given every other factor, there does seem to be a calendar-based trend to conception. So I'm happy to find out about studies that point to what we've seen in our practice here in sub-tropical Houston. It appears that summer is a great time to try and conceive with IVF.
In this study, published in Human Fertility (Vol 9, No 4, 2006), the researchers looking at more than 2,700 IVF/ICSI cycles saw "significant improvement in assisted conception outcomes performed" in summer months.
They're not exactly sure of what causes the boost but they propose it may be related to production of melatonin, a light-inhibited hormone that regulates sleeping and waking cycles.
This bit of information turns out to be in many patients' favor, since summer is the traditional season to take time off from work for vacation.
We've always encouraged our patients with seasonal jobs, like teaching, to take advantage of those stretches on the calendar when they're likely to be less stressed and busy on a daily basis. IVF treatment is carefully timed, so fitting it into a more relaxed schedule is beneficial -- lessened stress has also been linked to better fertility treatment outcomes.
Not only do I consult with patients to determine best times to schedule fertility treatment, I've started offering discounts timed specifically so they can take advantage of summer months.