The latest edition in the ongoing Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health, focussing on women’s reproductive health, has just been released.
The ground-breaking Australian Longitudinal Study of Women’s Health, now in its 16th year, has conducted four surveys over time on the same set of 40,000 women drawn from three age groups of cohorts.
Women in the youngest age group – born between 1973 and 1978 – were aged 18 to 23 when the first survey was made and 28 to 33 years when Survey 4 was conducted in 2006.
This latest report reveals that 91 per cent of the younger women wanted to have children. While the most common desire was for two children, the number of women aiming for just one child increased over time, as they grew older. However, infertility and pregnancy losses were very common. The most significant factors associated with infertility were polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis and miscarriage.
Other reproductive issues examined in the 2009 Women’s Health Australia report include contraception, fertility problems, maternal health including postnatal depression, and taking part in paid work.
The Department of Health and Ageing’s media release provides some more details and a link to the full report.