Conception

Mating season: How the changing seasons affect human fertility and pregnancy

Animals have a specific mating cycle largely predetermined by the call of nature that can’t be ignored. Do humans’ fertility cycles function the same way?

We’ve all heard loud, awkward meowing coming from a cat before and thought, “Oh, well it must be in heat.” We think that instinctively, without even considering the fact that it’s in the midst of a very cyclical reproductive cycle.

So what about us? Are our preferences and fertility also cyclical in nature?

According to the Statistic Institute of Quebec, humans seem to have more fertile periods than animals in a year. Where we differ from our animal friends, however, is that more of those periods are opportunities for us to give birth.

2013: 88,600 births

Month

Number

January

7,150

February

6,500

March

7,100

April

7,200

May

7,650

June

7,450

July

7,950

August

7,900

September

7,700

October

7,800

November

6,950

December

7,250

 

Most births by month, 2001-2013, Statistic Institute of Québec

Year

1st place

2nd place

3rd place

2003

July

September

May

2004

July

September

August

2005

August

September

July

2006

September

August

July

2007

August

July

September

2008

July

September

October

2009

July

September

August

2010

September

July

August

2011

August

September

July

2012

August September/October May

2013

July August October

It’s interesting to note that, during these 10 years, July, August and September are most often in the top-three most popular birth months. Perhaps the cold weather causes couples to shack up, as November is when most babies are conceived in Quebec.

Meanwhile, children born in November and December tend to suffer from asthma, while those born in August suffer from rhinitis, and December and January births have conjunctivitis issues

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