Posted February 15, 2017

The Boston Medical Center (BMC) recently posted an article that was titled “Daylight Savings Time Impacts Miscarriage Rates among Select IVF Patients, Study Finds”. The article goes on to question the effects of Daylight Savings Time (DST) and how it can lead to higher miscarriage rates among women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF). The findings, which are published in Chronobiology International point to circadian rhythm changes on reproduction and fertility. Chronobiology International is the journal of biological and medical rhythm research. It is a transdisciplinary journal focusing on biological rhythm phenomena of all life forms.

JASON M. FRANASIAK, MD, FACOG, TS(ABB),  with Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey sheds some light on this topic:

“The article by Constance Liu, MD, PhD studied the impact of daylight savings time on fertility. The data suggest that timing – daylight saving time – may be associated with fertility outcomes. This is intriguing, however, like all association studies, this must be verified with further confirmation studies to see if the effect persists and perhaps even an intervention study to see if you can alter the outcomes by intervening. These studies remain to be done in this regard but will be fascinating to see.”

“Until that time, it is important for us to keep in mind what we do know about the intervention studies already done on timing. The window of optimal implantation for the embryo and its home in the uterus have been better defined than ever and we are able to measure it and take action to improve outcomes.”

Published in Chronobiology International: 

Timing is important in IVF: The concrete evidence

We have long known about the great importance of timing when it comes to successful pregnancy. The importance of timing has become better understood through research done at Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey as we have looked at embryo and endometrial synchrony – that is: both the developing embryo its home in the uterus have “optimal windows.” We have hard evidence that when these windows don’t line up that we have over a 50% drop in pregnancy rates. The good news: we know how to assess for timing in the embryo and in the uterus. Since we know how to concretely look at these two things we can then take action. We know that when we take action and change our plan when timing is off in a fresh embryo transfer that we restore the chances of pregnancy to more optimal rates.

 

Read the full article on Boston Medical Center’s site or view it below:

 

Daylight Savings Time Impacts Miscarriage Rates among Select IVF Patients, Study Finds

(Boston) – Feb. 8, 2017 – Daylight savings time (DST) contributes to higher miscarriage rates among women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) who had had a prior pregnancy loss according to new research out of Boston Medical Center (BMC) and IVF New England. The findings, which are published online in the journal Chronobiology International, may shed light on the impact of circadian rhythm changes on reproduction and fertility.

Daylight savings time represents a subtle but widespread disruption to daily circadian rhythms. The one-hour difference has been previously reported to cause negative health impacts, such as increased instances of heart attacks, but little is known regarding its impact on fertility.

“To our knowledge, there are no other studies looking at the effects of daylight savings time and fertility outcomes”, said Constance Liu, MD, PhD, a physician in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital and corresponding author, who conducted the research during her residency at BMC. “We knew that we were researching an uncharted field, and it was important for us to understand the effect a one-hour change had on patients undergoing IVF.”

Researchers looked at the pregnancy and miscarriage rates among a sample of patients undergoing IVF prior to and during daylight savings time, in both the fall and spring. The patients were then categorized into three groups based on the timing of their embryo transfer during daylight savings time. An embryo transfer refers to a step in the IVF process in which an embryo is placed into the uterus of a female with the intent of establishing a pregnancy.

The study found that miscarriage rates in IVF patients who had had a prior miscarriage were significantly higher among women whose embryo transfers occurred 21 days after spring DST began, compared to patients whose embryo transfers occurred before or well outside the spring DST window.  Successful pregnancy rates did not differ between seasons or among the three groups or among the three groups during the change to standard time in the fall.

“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 Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine, who served as senior author of the paper.

Source: Boston Medical Center