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bpas comment on ONS conception statistics

ONS Statistics released this morning indicate the continuation of the trend towards older motherhood

·         Between 2011 and 2012 conception rates increased for women aged 35 years and over, and decreased for women aged under 35 years.

·         The largest percentage increase in conception rates occurred among women aged 35-39 (1%) and a smaller increase in conception rates was recorded for women aged 40 and over (0.7%). Conception rates for all younger age groups decreased over the last year.

·         Since 1990, the conception rate for women aged over 40 has more than doubled from 6.6 to 14 conceptions per 1000 women.

·         The conception rate for women aged 35-39 has almost doubled, while the rate for women aged 30-34 has risen by over one third over the same period.

Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service, said:

“These statistics demonstrate the trend towards older motherhood is continuing. At bpas, we see many younger women who are choosing to postpone starting their family for a number of reasons: some have not met the right partner, whereas others want to wait until they have greater financial security, a home of their own, or progressed further in their chosen career.

“It is important that reproductive healthcare services, whether providing contraception, abortion or maternity care, reflect this shift. While pregnancy and childbirth for older women may present particular challenges, with some mothers requiring additional support, the answer is to provide the services that they need, rather than attempt to cajole women into having children earlier than they feel is right for them.”


For more information please contact the bpas press office on 0207 061 3377 or 07788 725 185 or email press@bpas.org

Notes for Editors

The full ONS statistics, Conceptions in England and Wales, 2012, can be accessed here

About bpas

bpas supports reproductive choice and health by advocating and providing high quality services to prevent unwanted pregnancies with contraception or end them by abortion. We also offer a range of other reproductive health services through more than 50 centres throughout the UK, treating more than 60,000 women and men each year.