Summer, The Season of Fertility

Summer is a time for warm and sunny days, for vacations and relaxation. It’s also a great time to rekindle the romance in your life, especially if you and your partner are trying to get pregnant.

Several recent studies have shown that summer is an especially fertile season. A 2015 study in Belgium found that IVF success rates were significantly impacted by the weather. In the study, live birth rates improved by one-third in cycles that followed a month of increased sunshine, higher temperatures and less rain. The weather during the month of the IVF cycle wasn’t as important as the month preceding it, a time when a woman’s eggs are maturing and getting selected for the following cycle. Researchers speculated that the improved success rates might be caused by increased vitamin D and melatonin levels, which are impacted by sunlight.

Men also seem to benefit from summer weather: A 2015 Italian study showed that sperm motility (sperm’s ability to swim and reach the egg) peaks in July and August.

Summer sunshine can also improve mood. Many couples who have difficulty getting pregnant feel stressed, burned out and less connected to each other. Baby-making can seem like a chore for them rather than a fun and loving way to connect to your partner. Finding time to relax and refocus on your relationship can do wonders for your fertility potential. Even if you are trying to conceive through insemination or IVF, don’t forget to nurture the intimacy in your relationship. Or if you are a woman who is trying to conceive on your own with donated sperm, it’s still important to cultivate your sensual side!

According to research, women who have sex frequently (not just during ovulation) are more fertile. This could be the result of increased blood flow to the reproductive organs or oxytocin released from orgasm. It could also be due to an alteration in the immune system: A 2015 study at Indiana University found preliminary evidence that sexually active women had shifts in their immune system throughout their cycle that could assist with sperm motility, fertilization and acceptance of an embryo.

If getting pregnant is on your mind, why not use this summer as an opportunity to de-stress, cultivate your sexuality and bond with your partner? Consider a “conceptionmoon” getaway for relaxing, and possibly trying to conceive. If you can’t get the time away, consider a couples massage or a night out dancing, both of which can get blood flowing and put you in a sensual mood.

Whatever stage in life you’re at, we hope you have a wonderful summer!