40% More Pregnancies Amongst Women Over 40

24 March 2002


As more women are pursuing careers for longer, the UK birth rate in women over 40 has increased by over 40%, with 17,000 births in this age group from 1999 to 2000.

The overall birth rate in England has been falling since 1990 but increasing in women over 30 years of age.

Better contraceptive options, medical advances making it possible for women to have children later, and the fact that it is more socially acceptable for older women to have a baby later have all contributed to the trend.

The downside of having babies later is the reduction in fertility as eggs are older, and the increased risk of miscarriage in older women, perhaps on account of an increased risk of chromosomal and other genetic problems.


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