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More and more women aged over 40 are becoming pregnant, with this group having the biggest percentage rise in conceptions in new figures published by the Office for National Statistics.
More and more women over 40 are becoming pregnant, with this group having the biggest percentage rise in conceptions in new figures published by the Office for National Statistics.
The figures which cover the period from 2009 to 2010 show conception rates increased in all age groups, with the exception of women aged under 20 where they fell significantly.
The largest percentage increase in conception rates occurred among women aged 40 and over, 30–34 and 35–39, rising by 5.2 per cent, 4.9 per cent and 4.5 per cent respectively. Smaller increases in conception rates were recorded among women aged 20–24 (a 2.8 per cent increase) and women aged 25–29 (a 0.2 per cent increase).
Conception rates in women aged under 20, including women aged and under 18, have continued to decrease. Rates for women aged under 20 have fallen by 4.8 per cent, while conception rates for women aged under 18 fell by 7.3 per cent.
The ONS says the increase seems to have been driven entirely by an increase in the number of conceptions, rather than a rise in the number of women on childbearing years in the population.
It says the rise could be due to more women putting off children until they turn 30 or could be a response to the 2008-2009 recession.
It states: ”Family may also be valued more highly during tough economic times and, as parents could be out of work, they may have more time to spend on child rearing. Others may delay having a family due to financial concerns caused by the recession.”