Go Get Some Sun: Live Birth Rates Are Higher for Donor Egg ART in Sunnier Climates
ASRM23 October 2012
San Diego, CA - At the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a bicoastal research team will report evidence that sunlight exposure may have an effect on the success of ART cycles using donor eggs.
Although the role of vitamin D deficiency in human reproductive competence is not yet clear, it has been observed that Vitamin D deficiency may compromise procreation in animals. In humans, exposure to solar UVB radiation is a major source of endogenous vitamin D, and greater sun exposure results in higher physiologic levels.
Hypothesizing that a population’s exposure to sunlight (as a surrogate for its vitamin D level) could correlate with its reproductive success, Dr. Pal and colleagues analyzed year 2007 data from 444 SART-reporting clinics which were located using global coordinates. Relationships between clinics’ location coordinates and live births following fresh and frozen donor egg cycles were determined. Adjusting for the number of embryos transferred, live birth rates for donor egg ART cycles were significantly higher at clinics in the Southwestern United States, the region with highest UVB exposure, compared to those in the Northeast, with the US’s lowest exposure to UVB.
Glenn Schattman, MD, President of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, noted, “This study shows a possible environmental influence on reproductive health that is under our control. We certainly know that lifestyle modifications like maintaining ideal body weight, exercise and a healthy diet may improve the success of treatment and health of the children. Physicians can also advise their patients to get sufficient vitamin D through diet, supplements, or by safely increasing their exposure to sunlight.”
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L. Pal et al