Vitro Fertilization

Written by Will Baum
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In vitro fertilization (IVF) allows couples who could not otherwise have children to become parents. We live in a world where technology has solved and created many problems. Here is a difficulty that technology has eased. People look forward to parenting from the time they themselves are kids. With procedures like in vitro fertilization, that dream becomes possible for more and more people.

Summertime in Vitro Fertilization

In vitro fertilization involves taking sperm from a man and eggs from a woman and fertilizing the egg with the sperm in the lab. After several days, a six to eight cell blastocyst should result. The cells are implanted back into the woman's uterus, and if all goes well, a normal pregnancy results.

Recent research has turned up a hard-to-explain anomaly in IVF success. It seems that IVF works at a higher rate during the months of summer. A British study looked at 3,000 IVF attempts made at Countess of Chester Hospital and Liverpool Women's Hospital between 1997 and 2001. Months with more daylight hours--May to September--had significantly higher rates of success with IVF.

In winter months, IVF treatments were often successful, but in the summer, that rate jumped by over four percent. Researchers point to the hormone melatonin as the culprit. Melatonin responds to dark and light. Why would this response be built into humans as it is throughout the animal kingdom? A simple guess by researchers: it is biologically preferable to be born in the spring to allow maximum time to prepare for winter. This is just one more thing to consider when looking into in vitro fertilization.

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