Apr 26, 2010
Posted in Fertility
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Fertility and Light



It is a well-known fact that factors like what foods one eats, exercise routines, weight and whether one is drinking or smoking could all have an effect on a woman’s fertility. However, many are not aware of exposure to light (innate and artificial) playing a significant part in controlling the reproductive system functioning.

Light aids in keeping the circadian pacemaker synchronized in tandem with the twenty-four hour day. In other words, light helps in synchronizing the suprachiasmatic nucleus inside the brain which is the main body clock, with the solar day. When there is inadequate exposure to requisite types of light during the appropriate times during the day, the system’s master clock would get unsynchronized with the world at a pace of about ten minutes per day. The reproductive system also looses sync with the body’s master clock. The outcomes could be anything from skipped menses to reproductive chaos.

Those working indoors all through the year are not able to receive ample innate sunlight during the working days. Moreover, simulated lights that illuminate the night time would mean one not being able to experience a complete period of innate night darkness. It could be hard for the system’s master clock is differentiating in-between actual darkness and simulated ones that leaves our bodies baffled.

Due to this occurrence, the system’s master clock would lose command over the time of the secondary clock which governs thinking, behavior and even body functioning. Sleep patterns and eating is also affected that plays crucial part in the appropriate functioning of the reproductive system.

In order to maintain proper functioning, the body’s master clock has to re-synchronize itself employing a basic indicator – a time period of light (day) ensued by a time period of darkness (night). The ocular nerve transmits this light-darkness signal to the brain’s master clock that conveys the indicator to the pineal gland present in the brain.

Links between Menstrual cycle and light

The research regarding twenty-four hour rhythms are still comparatively new-fangled knowledge.

A woman’s menstrual cycle follows roughly twenty-eight day pattern based on the twenty-nine day lunar cycle. The moon’s waxing and waning occurs over the span of the twenty-nine days, and the days encircling a full moon being the most lit up day.

A study conducted during 1990 found that females having lengthy and erratic menses that slept with a hundred watt light bulb close to them in-between the thirteenth and seventeenth day of their menstrual cycles managed to regulate and shorten their menstrual cycles to a favorable extent.

Lately, researchers are focusing on daytime light along with moon light and analyzing how daytime light has an effect on menstrual cycle. During a 2007 research, females who received light treatment for SAD (seasonal affective disorder) had their menses about 1.2 days sooner.

A Russia-based study conducted soon after also cited that morning simulated bright light elicited successful ovulation in women and holds potential for treating females with infertility issues.

Fertility and Light Friendly Lifestyle Modifications
  • Try to get your daily dose of day light during morning times. About ten minutes are needed subsequent to retina’s foremost exposure to sun’s rays to be able to get ample light for considerably suppressing melatonin. Also thirty minutes walks during morning times are an ideal means of cuing one’s body that sunup has occurred.
  • Getting requisite amount of sunshine which is vital for forming vitamin D believed to be affecting nearly one thousand varied genes which govern nearly all tissues in the body. Melatonin could have a direct impact on reproductive tissues which augments a woman’s fertility during sunny days of the year.
  • Women attempting conception must maintain regular schedules and avoid traveling across several time zones which could put their circadian clocks out of sync.
  • Blue light has been found to affect fertility and exposure to blue light in late dusk hours could postpone the flow of melatonin hormone. One could opt for television, filters for computer monitors and light bulb which could reduce or curb exposure to evening blue light.
  • Specialized light boxes alike those employed for treating SAD could help in receiving one’s dose of sunlight irrespective of what time of the year or schedules.
  • Luness is the latest innovation in light and fertility therapy intended for providing precise dosage of light at a specific time on a specific schedule which replicates innate rhythms of moonlight. The computer-simulated bed-side tool functions by bouncing off light across the roof on a schedule which aids in regulating menstrual cycle and ovulation which makes it simpler for pairs to forecast the most favorable and fertile time period.
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