A new study finds that there are more chances of conception if egg retrieval process is done during summer for IVF process

New research finds that there are higher chances of babies being born alive when the eggs are retrieved during summer in the IVF process (Image via Google)
New research finds that there are higher chances of babies being born alive when the eggs are retrieved during summer in the IVF process (Image via Google)

A new study finds that when egg retrieval in the IVF process is done during the summer, there are higher chances of live birth than if they are retrieved in any other season.

For those of you who are not aware, IVF or In vitro fertilization is a procedure that allows people to conceive when they are not biologically capable of it due to health reasons. In the process, mature eggs from a biologically female participant are fertilized by sperm in a test tube. Then the fertilized egg is transferred to a healthy uterus.


Egg retrieval process for IVF

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As can be understood already, egg retrieval is one of the most important components of the IVF process. Hence, it is important that there is no compromise on that front.

After ovulation induction has been completed, the next step for IVF includes egg retrieval. This is usually done via transvaginal ultrasound aspiration in which an ultrasound probe is inserted in the vagina which looks for follicles. Then a thin needle is inserted into an ultrasound guide through the vagina to retrieve the eggs.

This needle then retrieves as many eggs as possible from the follicles. After they have been collected, they are then placed in a liquid and incubated. Following this process, the eggs that appear healthy are used for fertilization by sperm.


What do the latest studies suggest?

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According to multiple studies, and most recently the Australian study that was published in the Human Reproduction journal, it was found that when eggs were retrieved during the summer season on a sunny day for the IVF process, there were more chances of healthy birth rates compared to when eggs were retrieved in, say, the winter or autumn.

Some of the main results that were deduced post the 8-year-long study were as follows:

"Compared to frozen embryo transfers with oocyte retrieval dates in autumn, transfers with oocyte retrieval dates in summer had 30% increased odds of live birth (odds ratio (OR): 1.30, 95% CI: 1.04–1.62) which remained consistent after adjustment for season at the time of embryo transfer."

It continues,

"A high duration of sunshine hours (in the top tertile) on the day of oocyte retrieval was associated with a 28% increase in odds of live birth compared to duration of sunshine hours in the lowest tertile (OR 1.28, 95% CI: 1.06–1.53)."

Some researchers propose that egg retrieval during the summer yields more fruitful results in IVF than any other season due to the presence of melatonin, which is higher during the winter. This circadian rhythm-regulated and multifunctional hormone is capable of increasing the rate of fertilization, the number of high-quality embryos, and mature oocytes, all of which are extremely beneficial for the process.

For eggs that have been retrieved during the summer, egg development, which takes around three to nine months, must have been induced during the winter or other cooler seasons. This guarantees a high melatonin content in the eggs being retrieved, which is extremely beneficial for the fertilization process. There is, however, no available research to support this claim.

Edited by Babylona Bora
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