Many cultures and religions see a close connection between spring and fertility. But are we really more fertile at this time of year?
Spring is here! We have survived the winter well and can finally soak up the sunshine and warmth again. The air smells of anticipation and energy. Our eating habits are slowly changing, we are less keen on the heavy carbohydrates that served as a source of energy during the winter, and fruit and summer salads are landing on our plates more and more often. Daffodils and crocuses are adding colour to the landscape, migratory birds are returning for the summer and the whole of nature is crying out for rebirth and hope. Every day the birdsong gets louder - the birds' hormone balance is adjusting to the breeding season. But do the seasons also influence the possibility of getting pregnant in humans? Do humans have a "mating season"?
goddesses through the cultures
Spring has always been celebrated as a time of fertility, rebirth and growth. Some of today's festivals, such as Easter and 1 May, go back to ancient pagan traditions (Ostara and Beltane). All ancient cultures have symbols and goddesses that represent and honour fertility and nature. Interestingly, the gods that represent fertility are usually female: Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of fertility and mother of Eros, the god of love. Venus, the Roman goddess of love, sex, beauty and fertility. The Celtic goddesses Maeve - warrior queen and sex goddess of Irish mythology, Brigid - the Celtic goddess of fertility and motherhood, and Parvati - the Hindu goddess of fertility and love. These goddesses confirm the importance of women in the cycle of life throughout history and cultures.
Serotonin brings spring fever
The increased daylight in spring raises serotonin levels in the body. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that contributes to well-being and happiness and is therefore often referred to as the "happiness hormone". Not only do we feel more positive, we also experience a real energy boost due to the increasing sunlight. This sunlight and the rise in temperature have been shown to have an effect on the reproductive rate of animals.
Are more babies really made in spring?
But is there any truth to the claim that we are more fertile in spring, or is that just a misconception? just another myth? An Israeli study has shown that artificial fertilisation was more successful in spring: The seasons appeared to have a significant influence on the fertilisation process and the quality of the human embryos obtained in vitro. The research team surmised that this was due to the differences in light and dark over time. However, another study found no statistically significant evidence of this... While sunlight and temperatures have been shown to influence the reproductive rate in animals, human reproduction rises and falls throughout the year.
We can only assume that the fertility of our ancestors was more strongly influenced by the seasons - but the industrialisation of modern times with artificial light and heating seems to have clearly changed this. Nowadays, birth peaks are more likely to be influenced by public holidays, cultural events - and lockdowns! 😉 - throughout the year.
femSense tells you WHEN
Disappointed? You don't have to be! Whether we are actually a few per cent more fertile in spring or not doesn't really matter. To help you live out your spring fever, check out our blog Refresh your love life some tips on how you can spice up your sex life. And as far as your fertility is concerned - just let your fertility goddess inspire you! If that doesn't help: With our femSense Patches and the free femSense app, you always know exactly when you are fertile - all year round
Rojanski et al (2023) Seasonal variability in fertilisation and embryo quality rates in women undergoing IVF
Kirshenbaum et al (2023), Influence of seasonal variation on in vitro fertilisation success
Angier (2023), Season sways Human Birth Rates