NCT response to ONS conception data

Released on: 27 February 2013

On 26 February 2013, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) published the annual statistics on conceptions to women in England and Wales.

Elizabeth Duff, Senior Policy Adviser of parent charity NCT said:

“The ONS data shows that in 2011, the under-18 conception rate was the lowest it has been for over 40 years, as well as conception rates increasing for women aged 30 and over.

“These findings may be a result of moves from government and other agencies to discourage very early parenthood as well as people waiting to get pregnant until they are best placed to welcome a baby into a financially stable family setting. 

“The recent change of recommendation from NICE, to offer IVF treatment to women aged 40-42, may result in a future further increase in women over 40 conceiving. While, statistically, births of first babies to older women are associated with more complications, it is important to be aware that the majority of these women are fit, healthy and likely to have an optimal birth, so need not always be treated as high-risk unless specific problems develop. 

“Whatever age you get pregnant; we know that it can be an exciting but overwhelming time, which is why it’s important that all expectant parents are offered consistent, high quality support from health and social care professionals.”