Western Kentucky University

WKU Health Services : Health Services News

U.S. women having fewer children

Between 2000 and 2009, pregnancy rates for U.S. women fell by 12%, or nearly 6.4 million pregnancies. The pregnancy rate is the lowest it has been in 12 years.

In fact, the rates for teenage pregnancy reached historic lows in 2009, for all three major race groups: non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanic teenagers. In 2009, there were 39% fewer teen pregnancies than the 1991 peak rate of 61.8 teen pregnancies for every 1,000 teens.

"Research suggests that more teens are delaying initiating sex, waiting longer to have sex," said Rachel Jones, a senior research associate with the Guttmacher Institute, who was not associated with the study.

"More teens are using more contraceptives and using more effective methods of contraception," Jones said.

But while pregnancy rates for women younger than 30 fell, rates for women older than 30 have increased steadily since 1990. In fact, the number of women between the ages of 35 to 39 becoming pregnant has jumped by 30% since 1990.

"The expectation is that women in their 30s have considered career and education, delaying childbirth till their 30s, so they're making a conscientious decision to become pregnant and have a baby," Jones said.

Abortion rates overall have also dropped since 1990. There were 32% fewer abortions in 2009 than in 1990. The biggest drop was seen in the number of teen abortions. The rate of teen abortions in 2009 was less than one-half the rate it was in 1990.

"A lot of effort and lot of money have been spent on reducing teen pregnancy, and it shows that you can make a change... that when you put the effort in," said Jones.

The CDC also came out with birth rates for the past year. Between June 2012 and June 2013, nearly 4 million children were born. While the number of births has been dropping steadily since 2007, the number of children born this year remained steady since the previous year.

Categories
Latest Health News
Questions and Answers on Ebola

The current Ebola outbreak is centered on three countries in West Africa: Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, although there is the potential for further spread to neighboring African countries.

Ebola Virus Is Outpacing Efforts to Control It, World Health Body Warns

In an ominous warning as fatalities mounted in West Africa from the worst known outbreak of the Ebola virus, the head of the World Health Organization said on Friday that the disease was moving faster than efforts to curb it.

Bingeing On Bad News Can Fuel Daily Stress

If you're feeling stressed these days, the news media may be partly to blame. At least that's the suggestion of conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Featured Articles
5 Ways to Drop Your Soda Habit

How does one ditch a dependence on soda? Here are five tips for kicking your soda habit for good.

Real or fake sugar: Does it matter?

Are artificial sweeteners used in soft drinks and foods safe? Will they make us fat? How much is too much? Science doesn't have all the answers yet, but researchers have some clues.

List of 'Salty Six' Foods May Surprise You
 Last Modified 7/22/13