March Break is Prime Time for Teen Conception

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Thursday, September 8, 2011

March Break is Prime Time for Teen Conception

Results of a study out of Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., suggest that the conception rate in March among adolescents in that region is higher than other months and could be linked to the annual break students get from their studies.

A number of factors could be linked to the monthly spike, but one of the study's co-authors has a few hunches.

"There's lots of possibilities — it may be something to do with biology . . . nature or fertility rates," said Dr. Mary Anne Jamieson, an associate professor in obstetrics and gynecology, as well as pediatrics, at Queen's. "But one of the things we raised as a theory was 'has it got to do with the likelihood of conceiving during March break?'"

The study looked at five years of records from Kingston General Hospital and took into account all 838 adolescent pregnancies over that time. That data was then compared against a random sample of 838 adult pregnancies — from a total exceeding 13,500 — over the same period.

It found that in March, 10.5 per cent of adolescent pregnancies occurred, compared to 7.3 per cent among the adult pregnancies. By contrast, the largest percentage difference favouring adults took place in December, when 10.4 per cent of pregnant adults conceived. For adolescents, the December rate was 8.5 per cent.

She said identifying what months are most common for teen conception could pave the way for curbing that trend going forward.

"I knew there would probably be a couple of months where teens were more likely to conceive," she said. "I thought if we could figure out what those months are, maybe we could be proactive just prior to that month or those months and make sure they have good information, access and motivation for birth control — assuming many of them don't want to conceive."

Source: Vancouver Sun