Statistics released today show as temperatures fall, conceptions rise.
ONS statistics released today regarding births in 2013 show that the colder months saw the highest numbers of conceptions.
July 2013 saw the highest number of births, representing conceptions in October and early November. August, September and October were the three other highest months for births, representing conceptions from November to the start of February. This pattern of conceptions is also mirrored in statistics from the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, bpas. We saw more women needing advice about unplanned pregnancies in the first three months of 2013 than any other quarter in the year.
February and April saw the lowest and second lowest number of births, representing conceptions from the start of May to the beginning of June and the start of July to the beginning of August respectively.
This trend, which has been repeated over the last ten years, could be reflective of the fact that more couples stay in during the colder months or try for a baby in the New Year, as well as difficulties accessing contraception and contraceptive slip-ups during the festive party season.
Clare Murphy, Director of External Affairs at bpas, commented:
“These statistics show that as the months get colder, the number of conceptions tends to increase.
“Many of these will be planned pregnancies. October was one of the busiest months for birth, which could reflect some New Year’s resolutions to start trying for a baby in January. Others will be unintended conceptions which become much wanted pregnancies.
“At bpas we see more women seeking abortion care in the first months of the year than at any other time. Many women we speak to say they find it particularly difficult to access the contraception they need around the festive period as GPs and pharmacies may be closed, or pills get forgotten at home when they go away for Christmas.
“If you are planning to start trying for a baby in the New Year, one of the most important things you can do now is start taking folic acid supplements before you conceive. This is very important for the healthy development of your baby in the very early stages. And if you want to avoid pregnancy, make sure you have your contraception sorted before the busy festive season gets under way.”
For more information please contact bpas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07788 725185.
The full ONS report, Births in England and Wales by Characteristics of Birth 2, 2013, can be found online here.
bpas is a charity which provides reproductive healthcare services including pregnancy counselling, abortion care, miscarriage management and contraception from more than 40 centres across the UK. It supports and advocates for reproductive choice. More information can be found at bpas.org