Daylight Savings Time May Impact IVF Success

The ever-changing field of IVF means that new research is being conducted daily, and that it often leads to new discoveries about how to improve the odds of success with fertility! In February of 2017 a study was released that showed a link between IVF success and daylight savings time (DST).

The study, conducted by The Boston Medical Center and originally published in the medical journal Chronobiology International, found that transfers occurring around daylight savings time (DST) contributes to a higher miscarriage rate among women with previous history of miscarriage.

The study specifically aimed to research women undergoing IVF treatments who had a previous history of miscarriage or pregnancy loss. The study wanted to examine whether transfers conducted around spring daylight savings time had any impact, be it positive or negative, on the odds of success.

At its conclusion, the study showed that IVF transfers occurring within 21 days of spring daylight savings time were “significantly higher” than in women who transferred before the one hour time change, or well after it had happened. Interestingly, the study also looked at any potential impact on fertility at the end of DST in the fall. They were unable to find any difference in successful transfer rates during those weeks.

The negative impacts of DST, thought to be the result of an interrupted circadian rhythm, have previously been linked to increased instances of heart attacks, but this study represented the first time it has been studied in relation to fertility.

Researchers said that more research is needed to draw conclusive evidence from their study, “While our findings on the impact of DST on pregnancy loss among IVF pregnancies are intriguing, they need to be replicated in larger IVF cohorts in different parts of the world that observe DST,” said Wendy Kuohung, MD, director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at BMC and senior author of the paper.

Dr. Kim Bergman

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for Intended Parents, Surrogates and Donors. She is the co-owner of Fertility Counseling Services and Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the upcoming book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. Her two daughters are in college.