by Shaun Dreisbach
Getty Images Yes, you read that right--more women conceive in November than in any other month. How we know: Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta shows that August is the most common birth month; backtrack 40 weeks, and that means sperm is meeting egg soon.
So why November? The spike could be rooted in our animal instincts to seal the deal before heading into winter hibernation, but science hasn't proved that theory. Other likely causes: Couples have more sex when it's chilly outside in general, says Glamour contributor Katharine O'Connell White, M.D., chief of the division of general obstetrics and gynecology at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts. Factor in the drinking that's common as the holidays begin, she adds, and you have fewer inhibitions and more sex. Plus, with holiday travel, it's easy to forget your birth control. ("This happens a lot," says Dr. O'Connell White.)
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But whether the thought of getting pregnant freaks you out--or answers your dreams--the chart below will help get you through the month.
If you're not ready for a baby:
Then go easy on the pinot. The odds of unintended pregnancy go up 60 percent when you overdo the alcohol. "I tell my patients not to have more than two cocktails if they're around anyone but their closest friends," says Dr. O'Connell White. "It saves you from bad judgments."
If you forget your birth control while traveling, call your gyno. "Even on weekends, there's someone who can phone in a prescription for you," says Dr. O'Connell White. "Have a local pharmacy's number ready when you call."
Keep emergency contraception on hand in case any mishap occurs (condom breakage, missing multiple Pills). "Women don't think they're at risk" for getting pregnant after one slipup, says Dr. O'Connell White. But you are!
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If you DO want to conceive:
Then track your cycle with a free app like iPeriod so you know when you're most fertile (generally sometime between 11 and 14 days after the first day of your period).
Don't have tons of sex. Seriously, it won't help your chances. "His swimmers can only be replenished so quickly," explains Dr. O'Connell White. "Having sex every other day is fine--and don't do it more than once a day around your time of ovulation."
Chuck your lube. "Many contain a mild spermicide--not enough to be used as birth control but still not helpful if you're trying to get pregnant," says Dr. O'Connell White. "Fertility docs recommend an all-natural lubricant, even olive oil." (Weird, but you can say you tried food sex!)
For more from Glamour's November issue, pick up a copy on newsstands October 8 or download the digital edition now.
More from Glamour:
25 Celebrity Hairstyles That Will Make You Want Bangs
8 Hair Color Ideas To Try This Fall
10 Wardrobe Essentials Every Woman Should Own
8 Workout Moves for a Toned Body in Two Weeks
by Shaun Dreisbach