Are you planning to get pregnant this summer? Or have you been trying to conceive for a while? Then getting ‘Fertility Fit’ is a great way to prepare you for a healthy pregnancy. The mother’s health has a direct impact on the growing health of her baby – so the earlier you start improving your health, the better your chances are to conceive and to having a healthy pregnancy and baby!
Summertime is an ideal opportunity to break old habits and start to improve your health and wellbeing – which will boost your fertility. With the longer warmer days and holiday season, summertime can make you feel more energetic –and hopefully more sexually energetic! Summertime is a good time to increase your sexual activity when trying to conceive.
Summertime can improve the chances of successful fertility treatment
For those needing assisted fertility treatment and IVF to conceive, then summer time is the perfect time to have your treatment. Studies found ‘that women undergoing fertility treatments who, had been exposed to more sunlight, higher temperatures and less rain in the month before their IVF, had over a third higher successful pregnancy rates!’
A team of researchers lead by Dr Simon Wood, at the Countess of Chester Hospital, found that those having had IVF cycles during the summer months with the longer days, needed lower doses of drugs to stimulate ovulation. Dr Wood analysed the outcomes of fertility treatment, carried out on 266 women who had two cycles, one during April to September and the other performed between October and March. The pregnancy rate during the summer was 15.7 percent compared to 7.5 percent in the winter. The study concluded that the extended daylight hours benefited the outcomes of IVF cycles. However if age is a deciding factor for you, then it is better to get fertility treatment sooner, rather than wait for the longer daylight hours.
Is the key vitamin D – during summertime?
Dr. Frank Vandekerckhove, a reproductive medicine specialist, carried out research with more than 11,000 patients, over a six-year study at the University of Ghent in Belgium, to determine if there were any patterns as to when the most successes in conception occurred. Although the weather conditions in the month that the actual IVF cycle took place didn’t matter—it was surprisingly the month preceding IVF that scientists saw a pattern emerge and that more sunshine increased pregnancy. He stated that “it probably had a positive effect on the quality of the oocytes [immature eggs] that were recruited in the weeks before ovarian stimulation started”.
The increase in sunlight boosts vitamin D, which is a factor in a successful pregnancy, as vitamin D improves egg quality, regulation of sex hormones, and implantation rates, by boosting the levels of progesterone and oestrogen – so good to know if you are having IVF this summer!
For men, vitamin D helps with the development of the nucleus of the sperm cells, which in turn leads to better sperm count and quality. So as summer arrives, check with your vitamin D levels with your and head outside in the sunshine!
If you are currently trying to conceive and are looking for ways to relax or promote fertility, why not order a copy of my Fertility Yoga DVD.