Issued by: Staff writer Joan Hendricks
More Women Falling Pregnant In Their 40s. A new report released by the Office for National Statistics in the UK, shows that a record numbers of women in their forties are conceiving and in comparison, pregnancies among teenagers had plunged.
The report reveals that over the past two decades the number of women older than 40, who became pregnant, had more than doubled and pregnancies among girls younger than 18 more than halved between 2010 and 2017, from 34633 to 16740.
The ONS data also showed that the number of pregnancies among women aged 30 and above in England and Wales has surpassed the number among women in their 20s for the first time since records began.
But it’s not just in the UK. Last year statistics in the US revealed the same trend. The data showed that birth rates in the US were falling in every age group of women except for women in their 40s.
USA Today reported that while most babies are born to women in their 20s and 30s, the continued rise of older moms reflects a long-term shift to delayed childbearing.
Kathryn Littleboy of the ONS vital statistics outputs branch, said: “For the second year in a row, women aged 40 years and over were the only age group for whom conception rates increased. This could relate to the rising costs of childbearing and housing, among other reasons.”
However, Zeynep Gurtin, a lecturer in women’s health at UCL says that, “Although we are fortunate to be living in a time when women have greater reproductive choices and options than ever before – including increasing possibilities to forge new non-heteronormative routes to motherhood, with same-sex partners, co-parenting with friends, or going solo with the help of official or unofficial sperm donors, as well as the choice to remain childfree – it is nevertheless hubristic to imagine that we are fully in control of our reproductive trajectories.”
She added that fertility can be fickle and precarious, increasingly so as women get older. “…While conceptions for over-40s have significantly increased, let’s keep in mind that they still account for only 3.4% of all pregnancies.”