Summer is here and you may want to stay out in the sun, but do you know that it could hamper your chances of getting pregnant?

If recent research is to be believed, the UV rays you soak up affect the longevity and health of your future offspring and can have an impact on your fertility, too.

What Research Says
According to a study carried out by scientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, children born in years with a great deal of solar activity (ie, heavily concentrated UV rays), lived 5.2 years lesser than others. The Norwegian kids born in UV-soaked areas and whose mothers spent a lot of time outside were much less likely to make it to age two than those in less UV-saturated areas. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The Norwegian scientists collated data from church records of more than 9,000 people from 1750-1900, which outlined all the major milestones of their life. A comprehensive analysis of this data when compared with the historical evidence of cycles of solar radiation led them to infer that there is in fact a connection between the amount of UV rays you get and the health of your offspring.

Wondering how this is possible? While UV radiation is vital to boost your vitamin D levels, it can interfere with the production of vitamin B9, aka folate, a quintessential mineral known to reduce the risk of birth defects and other pregnancy-related complications. Gine Roll Skjærvø, the co-author of the study, says, “Our results indicate that too much sunbathing while pregnant may have detrimental effects on the fetus’ survival and subsequent reproductive performance.”

What You Can Do
Experts, however, do not advice you to stay indoors and say that a little bit of sun won’t do much harm if you use an effective sunblock with the right SPF factor (mostly SPF 30). Skjærvø says, “Broad-spectrum UV protection may help negate these sinister effects.” So, don’t forget that sunblock if you’re stepping out in the sun or make your own with these DIY ideas.

And, while you’re leaving no stone unturned to get pregnant, here are a few tips that will boost your chances to conceive:

For more interesting stories, visit our Health page and read about other Pregnancy & Babycare stories here.

Read More:
Prenatal Vitamins: Should You Get Them From Food Or Supplements?
Vitamin D Check: 5 Signs That Could Mean A Deficiency
Pregnancy Diet: Dos And Don’ts