Is There a Best Season for IVF Treatment?
When it comes to the fascinating world of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), questions, uncertainties, and myths abound. One of the most common queries patients have relates to the ‘best season’ to undergo IVF treatment.
We often hear that conception is more challenging in the summer months. But is this true? Let’s set the record straight and help you navigate the journey of IVF more effectively.
The Myth of Seasonal IVF Success
The notion that high temperatures during summer hamper the success of conceiving, particularly through IVF, is a myth that has found its way into public consciousness.
This misunderstanding may have stemmed from a misinterpretation of the human body’s natural reproductive processes, which are indeed sensitive to environmental changes. However, when it comes to IVF, things are different.
To fully understand this, let’s delve a little deeper into the core process of IVF. This treatment bypasses the natural conception process, where environmental factors can indeed play a role, and instead creates an optimised, controlled environment within the laboratory.
Thus, regardless of the season, the environmental conditions inside an IVF lab are meticulously regulated to offer the best possible conditions for embryo development.
When we look at IVF statistics, a very compelling picture emerges. Comparisons of results from different seasons reveal that the success rates remain consistent throughout the year.
It’s noteworthy that countries with higher temperatures also report high IVF success rates, further debunking the myth about summer months being unfavorable for conception.
IVF Success Rate: A Worldwide Perspective
Worldwide, the success rate per IVF cycle is around 40 percent. This figure is remarkably stable, unaffected by the season in which treatment is carried out.
It is determined by several factors, such as the age and health status of the patient, the quality of the eggs and sperm, and the expertise of the medical team.
IVF: A Treatment Unbound by Seasons
In an IVF lab, highly trained professionals maintain a stable environment tailored to encourage the growth and development of embryos.
Key parameters such as temperature, humidity, and light exposure are kept within a specific range optimal for embryo growth.
Let’s break it down further:
- Temperature: Temperature plays a crucial role in the development of embryos. Just like Goldilocks’s porridge, the environment can’t be too hot or too cold; it needs to be just right.
IVF labs maintain a constant temperature typically around 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), which mimics the human body’s internal temperature.
- Humidity: Humidity in the IVF lab is carefully controlled to prevent evaporation of culture media, which could lead to changes in pH detrimental to the embryos. The humidity is usually kept high, often above 80%, to ensure stable conditions for the embryos.
- Light exposure: Light exposure is minimized in IVF labs. Continuous or intense light can damage embryos due to the production of reactive oxygen species. Labs employ subdued, low-intensity lighting and incubators often have tinted or opaque doors to further protect the embryos.
Furthermore, the equipment used within the lab, such as incubators, microscopes, and air filtration systems, all contribute to creating the ideal environment for the embryos to grow, irrespective of the weather or temperature outside the lab.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
Being an complex fertility procedure, it as important to understand the process, possible risks and complications and tips for Success before going for the procedure.
Considerations for IVF Treatment
Regardless of the season, here are some crucial factors you should consider when planning for IVF:
- Age: Your age and the age of your partner play a critical role in determining the success of IVF. Younger couples generally have higher success rates.
- Lifestyle: Healthy habits such as a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoidance of alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco can enhance your chances of success.
- Medical History: Your overall health, including your reproductive history and any underlying medical conditions, can impact the effectiveness of IVF treatment.
- IVF Expertise: The experience and expertise of your medical team can greatly affect the success of the procedure.
The notion that there’s a ‘best season’ for IVF is a myth. IVF success hinges on various factors, but the season is not one of them. So, if you’re considering IVF, don’t let the calendar guide your decision. Instead, focus on preparing yourself mentally and physically for the journey ahead.
Your path to parenthood, albeit challenging, can be navigated effectively with the right guidance. Our team of experts is always ready to assist and guide you on this journey.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for consultation, or if you have any questions about the IVF process. Remember, every step forward is a step closer to your dream of parenthood.
Let the change in seasons bring about a beautiful change in your life, no matter when you choose to embark on your IVF journey.
Dr. Supriya Puranik
Gynaecologist & IVF Specialist
Often known as the last glimmer of hope for people who have lost all hope for conceiving a child, Dr. Supriya Puranik is a leading gynaecologist, high risk obstetrician and Head of IVF & Gynaecology department at Ankura Hospital for Women & Children.