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Sperm Cells Thrive in the Wintertime, Study Finds

Update Date: Mar 11, 2013 02:34 PM EDT
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New research revealed that sperms tend to perform better in the wintertime and early spring. According to an Israeli study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, over 6,000 semen samples were collected and analyzed. Lead researcher, Eliahu Levitas from BenGurion University of Negev in Beer-Sheva and the team noticed that normal sperm count cells performed better during this particular season. However, the same could not be said for abnormal sperm cells, which presented a different trend. The information from this study can provide doctors and patients with a different approach to fertility treatments and pregnancy goals.

The research team collected 6,455 samples from fertility clinics between January 2006 and July 2009. Of the total amount, 4960 samples were considered to be normal whereas 1495 samples were abnormal due to the sperm count. The World Health Organization (WHO) set the standard and stated that normal sperm count is at least 16 million per milliliter and abnormal is any number below that.

When the researches studied the normal semen samples, they found that sperm cells tended to swim faster, which increase the chances for insemination, in the wintertime and late spring. Of the 70 million sperms, five percent recorded increase mobility. Sperm count was also higher at this time of the year. Of the 68 million sperms in the springtime, sperm speed was only faster by 3 percent. As the season moved past spring and into summer and fall, sperm mobility and count slowly declined. This trend suggests that sperms thrive in the wintertime, although no explanation has been found as to why this happens. However, researchers and doctors can use this information when treating couples that have normal sperm but still experience difficulty getting pregnant.

This trend for abnormal sperms is inconsistent. Abnormal sperms seem to perform slightly better during the fall time and have a 7 percent normal sperm count in the springtime. The researchers took into account the fact that it normally takes 70 days for sperms to be produced when factoring in time periods of better fertility.

This study also helps explain why there might be more fall pregnancies since people might have an easier time getting pregnant during the wintertime. Whether it is the cold or diet changes due to the cold, getting frisky during the winter will help increase your chances of pregnancy. 

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