Updated on: Thursday, February 20, 2020, 11:34 PM IST

Winter may be best time of year to conceive: Study


New York: Couples are most likely to start conceiving in September but it’s in late November and early December that they have the best chances of conceiving, say researchers. First-of-its-kind study, accounts for when couples are most likely to start trying to conceive, finding couples conceive quicker in late fall and early winter.

“There are a lot of studies out there that look at seasonal patterns in births, but these studies don’t take into account when couples start trying, how long they take to conceive, or how long their pregnancies last,” said study lead author Amelia Wesselink from Boston University in the US.

“After accounting for seasonal patterns in when couples start trying to conceive, we found a decline in fecundability (Fecundability refers to the odds of conceiving within one menstrual cycle) in the late spring and a peak in the late fall,” Wesselink added.

The study used data on 14,331 pregnancy-planning women who had been trying to conceive for no more than six months, including 5,827 US and Canadian participants in the BUSPH-based Pregnancy Study Online (PRESTO) and 8,504 Danish participants in the Snart Gravid and Snart Foraeldre studies based at Aarhus University in Denmark.

The North Americans were more likely than Danes to begin trying to conceive in the fall. But, after taking those patterns into account, season affected fecundability for North Americans by 16 per cent, while Danes got only an eight per cent seasonal boost in the fall and dip in the spring.

In southern US states, the seasonal variation was even stronger, at 45 per cent, with a peak in quick conceptions in late November.

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Published on: Thursday, February 20, 2020, 11:34 PM IST