No, it’s not just because of Christmas parties.
By Catriona Harvey-Jenner
How many people do you know who were born at the end of August or in early September time? Probably quite a few – and there’s a reason for that. They’re Christmas conceptions.
It turns out it’s an actual scientific phenomenon that more babies are conceived at Christmas than any other time of the year, and it’s not just because of all the Christmas parties that are going on.
Sure, the increase in sex definitely has a role to play in the number of pregnancies that occur over the festive season, but a recent study published in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology journal revealed there’s also a biological reason you’re more likely to conceive in winter.
Apparently, the quality of sperm men produce in winter time is better compared to the summer months, as is a woman’s ovum receptivity thanks to the changes in daylight length. Together, these increase the chances of the sperm fertilising an egg, triggering pregnancy. The report reads:
“This finding suggests that biologic processes or common behaviours may account for the seasonal variation. Biologic hypotheses include deterioration of sperm quality during summer, seasonal differences in anterior pituitary-ovarian function caused by changes in the daylight length, and variation in quality of the ovum or endometrial receptivity. Increased sexual activity associated with end-of-year holiday festivities has also been postulated as a possible behavioural explanation for the December peak in conceptions. The exact reasons remain unknown.”
Plus, with all the Christmas booze thrown into the mix, the chances of accidental unprotected sexual encounters is higher, making way for more possible conceptions. However, the authors conclude that “although statistically significant, seasonal differences in conception of births and initiation of prenatal care were modest,” in turn concluding:
“These findings suggest that rather than intensifying efforts during specific periods of the year, preventive and reproductive health services for teenagers and adults should be equally available throughout the year.”
All in all, remember that it’s just as important as ever to use contraception during sex. Or, if you are looking to conceive, have fun trying over the next few weeks.