What’s the Best Time of Year to Get Pregnant?
Does the time of year you conceive make a difference for having a healthy pregnancy and baby? For some women, aligning conception with seasonal factors like daylight, diet, and chemicals may optimize outcomes. Here’s how to determine the ideal conception months tailored to your lifestyle and goals.
How Seasons Affect Fertility and Pregnancy
While you can conceive any time of year, research shows seasonal influences can subtly impact fertility and pregnancy factors:
- Daylight – More sunlight and longer days helps sustain higher vitamin D levels which aids fertility. Low winter light may reduce ovulation.
- Diet – Seasonal produce provides fertility boosting nutrients. Cold weather limits fresh options but offers comfort foods.
- Viruses – Colds and flu thrive in winter months and can temporarily lower sperm health. Fevers affect ovulation.
- Chemicals – Spring tendserness exposes developing babies to more outdoor lawn or garden chemicals. Some seasonal jobs also increase chemical/toxin exposure risk.
- Temperature – Extreme heat in summer can lower sperm counts. Weather extremes impact implantation or increase early miscarriage risks.
- Mood – Dark winter months contribute to seasonal depression which impairs ovulation and sperm production.
- Exercise – Outdoor activity boosts fertility but some seasons limit this more than others.
- Work schedules – Certain workloads or irregular shifts vary based on time of year which affects frequency of intercourse.
As you evaluate your unique lifestyle, certain times of year may seem more “pregnancy-friendly” than others. Here are some considerations for picking conception months.
Ideal Conception Months
For many women, the best time to conceive falls between late spring through early fall. Benefits of these months include:
- Warmer weather and more sunshine boosts mood and vitamin D levels
- Abundant fresh fruits and vegetables provide key fertility nutrients
- More likely to be outdoors and physically active
- Avoiding extreme cold or heat minimizes temperature impacts on sperm and ovulation
- Colds, flu and other viruses are less prevalent
- Lack of major holidays allow focus to be more on conception efforts
If your job allows summertime flexibility, trying to conceive in these months can be favorable for many. However, other factors like work schedules, climate, lifestyle, holidays and more also influence timing.
Worst Months for Conception
On the flip side, research indicates the more challenging months for conceiving include:
- December, January, February – virus prevalence combined with dark and cold
- June, July, August in very hot climates – high heat jeopardizes sperm
- April, May, October – significant holidays can hinder efforts
- March through May for seasonal job exposures – toxins, chemicals
Again this varies by your local climate and other variables. Talk to your doctor about any major reservations you have trying for pregnancy during specific months.
Does Timing of Due Date Matter?
Beyond conception timing, consider what birth month you’d prefer, keeping in mind:
- December – busy with holidays right after birth but time off work
- January, February – winter weather limits activities with a newborn
- March to May – weather improves with more sunshine
- June to August – typically no school yet for older siblings
- September to November – allow recovery before busy holiday season
Make a tentative plan, but know your due date will likely vary from conception date by 2-3 weeks. You can’t control exactly when baby arrives. Focus on having a happy, healthy pregnancy whenever it occurs!
Should Seasons Decide Your Family Planning?
While research shows some seasons favor fertility marginally better, don’t let seasons dictate your family planning goals. You can support fertility all year through:
- Taking vitamin D and prenatals during winter months
- Maximizing intake of seasonal fruits and vegetables
- Staying active indoors with fertility-friendly workouts in bad weather
- Avoiding toxic exposures applicable to your job and lifestyle
- Addressing seasonal depression if it occurs through light therapy, supplements, counseling
The takeaway is that while adjustments can optimize certain months, don’t postpone trying if your ideal month is still several cycles away. You can boost your odds naturally in any season! If you have significant seasonal fertility challenges, your doctor can also explore solutions to help you conceive successfully.