Female fertility was in the news a few weeks ago when Andrea Ledsome sought to claim the high moral ground in the Tory leadership debate against Theresa May by claiming that her motherhood status gave her a greater stake in the country than the latter who is childless.
News stories on whether and how fertile we are have become as much a scare story for those unsure as to when to have a baby as it is assuring to those who breathe a sigh of relief because they fall within the supposed right age bracket.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) reports that the fertility rate for women aged over 40 is higher than the rate for women under 20 in the UK for the first time since 1947. This is due to more women being in higher education, women choosing to concentrate on their careers first before becoming mothers and the rising cost of childcare.
Interesting a read as it is I really do not see the point of this ONS report. Apart from the fact that the figures point to a decrease in teenage pregnancies, which is a good thing, I am struggling to see how women’s choices can be affected by this piece of evidence. If you are a woman in your 30s trying to decide when your biological clock will stop ticking this report may put your mind at rest but when the dominant narrative is ‘don’t wait too long’ I doubt that many women will rest easy without falling pregnant till they turn 40.
Till the next fertility news story I hope this report helps in some way in the mean time.