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Daylight saving time may up miscarriages in IVF patients

New York: Daylight saving time (DST) contributes to a higher miscarriage rates among women undergoing in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and who had a prior pregnancy loss, according to new research.

DST is the practice of setting the clocks forward one hour from Standard Time during the summer months, in order to make better use of natural daylight.

The findings, led by researchers from Boston University School of Medicine in the US, showed that DST — which causes disruption to daily circadian rhythms — may impact reproduction and fertility.

For the study, the team looked at the pregnancy and miscarriage rates among a sample of patients undergoing IVF prior to and during daylight savings time.

The results, appearing in the journal Chronobiology International, showed that miscarriage rates in IVF patients who 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.

“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, Associate Professor at Boston University School of Medicine.