Indian Journal of Public Health

LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Year
: 2013  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 181--182

The effect of the lunar cycle on frequency of births: Our experience in Peru


José A Suclla Velásquez1, Dania Ramirez Vásquez1, Connie Smedts Pérez1, Luis Acosta Vega2,  
1 Medical Student, Centro de Investigación y Estudios Médicos, Universidad Católica de Santa María, Arequipa, Perú
2 Principal, Professor of Physiology, Universidad Católica de Santa María, Arequipa, Perú

Correspondence Address:
José A Suclla Velásquez
Medical Student, Universidad Católica de Santa María, Urb. Francisco Mostajo D3-14, Arequipa, Perú 04002
Perú




How to cite this article:
Suclla Velásquez JA, Vásquez DR, Pérez CS, Vega LA. The effect of the lunar cycle on frequency of births: Our experience in Peru.Indian J Public Health 2013;57:181-182


How to cite this URL:
Suclla Velásquez JA, Vásquez DR, Pérez CS, Vega LA. The effect of the lunar cycle on frequency of births: Our experience in Peru. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2013 [cited 2022 Jan 22 ];57:181-182
Available from: https://www.ijph.in/text.asp?2013/57/3/181/119811


Full Text

Sir,

With regard to the short communication by Bharati S et al. published in your journal (Volume 56, Issue 2, April-June 2012) about the effect of the lunar cycle on frequency of births, [1] we have to mention that the same myth exists in Peru. Some people, physicians and nurses, particularly who live in rural areas believe in the influence of the lunar position on the distribution of deliveries; especially it is thought that the frequency of births increases during the full moon. Therefore, we performed a research for proving the veracity of this myth.

In this retrospective and observational study, we examined 1836 births (995 vaginal births and 841 Cesarean sections) at the Obstetric and Gynecologic ward of a teaching hospital, covering 8 lunar months. We considered all births (vaginal deliveries and Cesarean sections), independently of doing induction or not; however, it must be taken in account that in this hospital most of Cesarean sections are non-elective. Five groups were formed from the entire lunar cycle. Four of the groups were related to the phases of the moon (new moon, mid-ascending lunar phase, full moon, and mid-descending lunar phase); the fifth group was based on the other days that were not considered previously. Then, we performed a Kruskal - Wallis one-way analysis of variance for comparing the number of vaginal deliveries, Cesarean sections, and total number of births between these five groups. A significant level of 0.05 was employed for all tests. We used, as statistical software, SPSS v20.0.

In all the cases, no significant difference was found (for comparing the number of vaginal births: P = 0.955, >0.05; for comparing the number of Cesarean sections: P = 0.800, >0.05; for comparing the total number of births: P = 0.829, >0.05). Thus, we concluded that it seems there is not enough evidence to affirm that a relationship between the lunar cycle and frequency of births really exists.

Previous studies have shown similar results; for instance, Bharati S et al. examined 9890 full-term spontaneous deliveries as well as non-elective Cesarean sections, they found no significant differences and failed to prove that exists a relationship between lunar cycle and frequency of births. [1] In the same way, Staboulidou I et al. analyzed 6725 deliveries and obtained similar results. [2] Other researchers studied a major number of deliveries, for example, Arliss JM et al. performed an analysis of 564,039 births and despite the large sample that was examined, the data demonstrated no influence of the lunar cycle on deliveries. [3] However, not all studies have negative results; Ghiandoni G et al. found an effect of lunar phases on the data of delivery, especially in the case of multiparae and plurigravidae. [4]

In conclusion, this is a topic which involves a lot of controversy; therefore, additional research is needed. However, we consider that future studies must be designed according to the myth instead of focusing on large samples. For us, it is possible that the myth is being misinterpreted.

References

1Bharati S, Sarkar M, Haldar PS, Jana S, Mandal S. The effect of the lunar cycle on frequency of births: A retrospective observational study in Indian population. Indian J Public Health 2012;56:152-4.
2Staboulidou I, Soergel P, Vaske B, Hillemanns P. The influence of lunar cycle on frequency of birth, birth complications, neonatal outcome and the gender: A retrospective analysis. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 2008;87:875-9.
3Arliss JM, Kaplan EN, Galvin SL. The effect of the lunar cycle on frequency of births and birth complications. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2005;192:1462-4.
4Ghiandoni G, Seclì R, Rocchi MB, Ugolini G. Does lunar position influence the time of delivery? A statistical analysis. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 1998;77:47-50.