Rise in Sperm Quality in the Winter May Explain Seasonal Variation in the Number of Births

A study conducted at Soroka Medical Center and led by Dr. Eliahu Levitas, Senior physician in the Fertility and In-​Vitro Fertilization Unitexamined the impact of climate on the quality of sperm and analyzed it in the different months of the year. The study showed that sperm quality increased in the winter and corresponded to the rise in the number of births in the hospital nine months later.The study, recently published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, was based on 6,455 semen samples from 6,447 men at Soroka. The statistical analysis that sorted the samples according to the season they were taken indicated an increase in the concentration and quality of the sperm in the winter. Motility differences were also found that could influence the chances for pregnancy. Even though sperm speed was greater in summer than in winter, fewer of these sperm exhibited progressive motility, that is,

straight line movement essential for fertility. Also, in comparing the summer samples with those taken in winter, the winter sperm showed fewer abnormalities.A comparison of the number of births at Soroka’s Saban Maternity Center, the busiest delivery room in the country, shows seasonal variations that are consistent with the seasonal variations of the sperm samples.The study presented data on the number of births at Soroka from 2005 to 2010, totaling 79,038. The distribution by season showed the highest number of births in the fall (September, October, November), 22,732 in the five years. Whereas in the spring (March, April, May), corresponding to conception the previous summer, the lowest number of births was recorded, 17,753 in the five years. Dr. Eliahu Levitas, Senior physician in the Fertility and IVF Unit at Soroka Medical Center: “The findings attest to a general increase in the quality of sperm in the winter and a decline in summer. This may be explained by the negative effect of heat on the testicles. The testicles are external to the body, maintaining a temperature 1.5 to 2 degrees Centigrade lower than the body. Couples struggling to conceive should perhaps be more alert to the seasons of the year and increase their efforts particularly in the colder months”. – Seasonal variations of human sperm cells among 6455 semen samples: a plausible explanation of a seasonal birth pattern. Objective: To compare the different sperm parameters according

to season of the year on sperm production day and the season 70 days prior (during spermatogenesis). Study Design: Retrospective Andrology Laboratory data comparison. A total of 6455 consecutive semen samples were collected as part of the basic fertility evaluation of 6447 couples. According to sperm concentration, the samples were classified as Normozoospermic or Oligozoospermic and analyzed in relation to the season. Results: The sperm concentration and percentage of fast motility showed a significant decrease from spring toward summer and fall (P < .001) with recovery noticed during the winter. As well, the highest percentage of normal sperm morphology was observed during the winter months. Conclusion: Seasonal sperm pattern seems to be a circannual-rhythmic phenomenon. The winter and spring semen patterns are compatible with increased fecundability and may be a plausible explanation of the peak number of deliveries during the fall. Eliahu Levitas: Fertility and IVF Unit, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Soroka University Medical Center, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel. Levitas E, Lunenfeld E, Weisz N, et al. Seasonal variations of human sperm cells among 6455 semen samples: a plausible explanation of a seasonal birth pattern. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2013;208:x-ex-x-ex.Sources: Soroka Medical Center & American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology. Rise in Sperm Quality in the Winter May Explain Seasonal Variation in the Number of Births. – A plausible explanation of a seasonal birth pattern…http://goodnews.ws/

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