Women are leaving childbirth even later
Posted on 17.7.14
Average age of pregnancy
For the first time ever the average age at which women give birth in Britain has reached 30, a further reminder that more and more couples (and single women) are putting off family life, hoping first to establish their homes, finances and careers before embarking on children.
The pattern of delayed childbirth is also apparent in Britain's fertility clinics; where the average female patient is now well into her 30s. Many cases of infertility today are explained simply because the female partner has left conception too late.
When the eggs run out
This ‘age-related’ infertility is now one of the most common diagnoses, and is usually caused by the ovaries simply running out of eggs. Women are born with a fixed store of eggs, and once gone - through monthly ovulation and natural loss - they can never be replaced. By the mid-forties, most women have very little chance of natural or assisted conception, except with donor eggs.
The latest UK birth figures, reported annually by the Office for National Statistics, also show that fertility rates in general are lower than previous years, although the decline was smallest among women over 35. The average family size also shrank, from 1.94 children to 1.85.
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