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Conception rates in the United Kingdom - Statistics & Facts

The United Kingdom has one of the highest birth rates in Europe, measuring 11 per 1,000 population in 2018. In England and Wales this equated to approximately 657 thousand live births. The United Kingdom was once regarded as having one of the highest teenage conception rates in Europe, but in recent years this trend has declined, with women more likely to wait until their late twenties or early thirties before having their first child.

The questions of where to give birth, or which method to use are topics that expectant mothers need to consider. In England and Wales at least, the number of women giving birth in a hospital is significantly higher than the number of women giving birth at home. However, with over 13 thousand live births taking place at home it's still a significant number to consider. The most common method of childbirth in England, on the National Health Service (NHS), is spontaneous vertex delivery, otherwise known as a natural birth. Caesarean sections are also quite common, with many women often requiring an emergency C-section. The average antenatal stay in NHS hospitals is either the same day as delivery or one day before expected delivery. After childbirth, women normally have a postnatal stay of one to two days.

In cases of unintended pregnancies, a woman may decide to have an abortion rather than continue with the pregnancy. In the UK, abortion services are provided free of charge by the NHS. Prevalence of abortions are more common among younger women who fall pregnant. In England and Wales, almost fifty percent of conceptions among teenagers led to an abortion, compared to around 16 percent of those aged 30 to 34 years. A similar pattern was also observed in Scotland.

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