Over the decades since the invention of tanning beds, different urban legends have popped up; including lowered fertility by using a tanning bed. Fortunately, there have been no conclusive studies that indicate that tanning beds lower fertility or sperm count. However, this does not mean tanning does not come with certain concerns for individuals in their childbearing years, particularly for women who may be pregnant.

The primary concerns for pregnant women do not include the fable that ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause skin cancer and premature aging, will directly harm the unborn fetus. They must be concerned with the following issues instead:

1 - Overheating may occur under the hot tanning lights and cause spinal malformations in the unborn child.

2 - Too much exposure to the same UV rays that tan your skin can cause a folic acid deficiency, which can create spina bifida in the unborn child.

3 - Laying flat on your back during the last trimester can put a lot of pressure on the lower back and reduce the blood flow to both your heart and to the growing fetus.

This doesn't mean pregnant women must avoid tanning beds, but it does mean they need to take precautions, such as:

1 - Particularly during the last trimester, use a vertical tanning bed or booth. Another option is to use tanning bed pillows to provide relief to the strained lower back.

2 - Avoid using tanning beds too long or too often. Ten to fifteen minutes two to three times a week is more reasonable for a pregnant woman.

3 - Stay hydrated and use a tanning bed lotion that adds moisture back into to the skin.

While loss of fertility and tanning beds may be unrelated, overuse of tanning beds and an unhealthy pregnancy is, so if you think you may be pregnant, tan wisely. There is no reason to avoid tanning beds completely, since beds are no more dangerous to use than spending a day at the beach. However, it is important to take proper precautions again overexposure to the potentially harmful effects of UV rays.

Author's Bio: 

Larry Scott is a successful Webmaster and publisher of Tanning-Beds-Here.com. He provides more tanning bed tips and free information at http://www.tanning-beds-here.com where you can research at any time, day or night, on his website.