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In Vitro Fertilization Success Rate Higher in Spring, Study Suggests
Date:9/14/2010

By Serena Gordon
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Sept. 14 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that success rates are higher when in vitro fertilization is done during the springtime.

A Brazilian study found that fertilization rates were highest in the spring -- 73.5 percent vs. 67.9 percent for winter. Spring fertilization rates also were higher than the summer and fall rates.

"Epidemiolgists have demonstrated a seasonal distribution in human natural conception and birth rates," said study author Daniela Braga, head researcher at the Assisted Fertilization Center in Sao Paulo. "We observed a 1.45-fold increase in the fertilization rate during the spring."

Braga said that the difference in fertilization rates may have something to do with the effect that changing light patterns can have on neurons in the brain that produce hormones that stimulate the release of eggs from the ovaries.

The study followed 1,932 women who were undergoing egg retrieval for in vitro fertilization. Four hundred and thirty-five women had egg retrieval in the winter, 444 had the procedure in the spring, 469 had egg retrieval done in the summer and 584 had it done in the fall.

Blood samples were also taken to compare estradiol levels -- a hormone that helps signal the ovaries to release eggs.

The number of eggs retrieved, high-quality embryos created, embryos implanted and pregnancy rates didn't differ significantly between the groups, according to the study.

What did change with the seasons were the fertilization rates, the study found. In the winter, 67.9 percent of eggs were fertilized. In the spring, that number was 73.5 percent; in the summer it was 68.7 percent and in the fall it was 69 percent.

Blood levels of estradiol didn't vary with the seasons. However, the concentrated estradiol levels per number of eggs retrieved was much higher in the spring than in other seasons, according to the study.'/>"/>

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