A Steady Decline in Teen Pregnancies and An Upswing In Older Mums Is Responsible For Women Over 40 Having More Babies
Women over 40 are having more babies than those under 20 for the first time since World War Two.
A new report shows the fertility rate for women aged 40 and over has risen above that for the under-20s for the first time since 1947.
There were 15.2 live births per 1,000 women aged 40 and over in 2015
compared to 14.5 for those aged under 20.
In 1981, the rate was 4.9 for women aged 40 and over compared to 28.1 for women under 20, according to the Office for National Statistics.
It means the fertility rate among older women has more than trebled since 1981.
Elizabeth McLaren, of the ONS, said: “The trend for women to have babies at older ages continued in 2015. Over the last 40 years, the percentage of live births to women aged 35 and over has increased considerably.
“Women aged 40 and over now have a higher fertility rate than women aged under 20 – this was last recorded in the 1940s.”
But Prof Adam Balen, chair of the British Fertility Society, stressed that couples should be aware having kids later in life can increase the risk of complications.
Prof Balen said: “For a range of social, professional and financial reasons, women are starting families at an older age and this trend is unlikely to be reversed.
“As healthcare professionals, our role is to advise both men and women about the implications that maternal age can have for fertility, pregnancy and birth and enable couples to make informed decisions about when to plan a family.
“We know that female fertility starts to decline gradually from the late 20s and more rapidly from the mid-30s onwards.
While the risks should never be overplayed, men and women should be aware that reproductive outcomes are poorer in older women.
As well as it potentially taking longer to get pregnant, later maternity can involve a greater risk of miscarriage, a more complicated labor, and medical intervention at the birth.”
He also said that the rise in women over 40 having children was largely due to them having fertility treatment.
Prof Balen added: “Although fertility rates for women aged 40 and above have been generally rising fast, this is contributed to by fertility treatments, and natural fertility among women in their 40s is still considerably lower than for women in their 30s.”
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This article originally appeared on: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/women-over-40-having-more-8413570