Reproductive experiences and outcomes among a representative sample of women: the Second Australian Study of Health and Relationships

Juliet Richters, Allison Carter, Theresa Caruana, Deborah Bateson, Richard de Visser, Chris Rissel, Anna Yeung, Rebecca Guy, Kevin McGeechan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Objective: To enumerate pregnancy outcomes for a representative sample of women in Australia surveyed in 2012–2013 (primary aim) and compare these with women surveyed in 2001–2002 (secondary aim). Methods: Computer-assisted telephone interviews with over 10,000 women aged 16–69 years (participation rate 68.4%). Results are weighted for chance of selection and to reflect the population as a whole. Results: Of women with experience of vaginal intercourse, 75.1% had ever been pregnant, 18.4% reported difficulties getting pregnant and 10.0% had had fertility treatment. Of those who had been pregnant, 91.3% had ever had a live birth, 34.3% a miscarriage, 22.8% an abortion and 2.3% a stillbirth; 0.9% had relinquished a child for adoption. The proportion first pregnant in their 30s was 11% among women aged 60–69 and 26% among those aged 40–49. Fewer older women reported difficulties getting pregnant. Of the 21,882 pregnancies reported, 70% led to live births and 10% were terminated. Compared with our 2001–2002 survey, fewer women reported ever having been pregnant. Giving up newborns for adoption has become very rare. Conclusions: Falling fertility since the 1960s reflects greater access to contraception and abortion and higher opportunity costs of childbearing. Implications for public health: These findings on women's lifetime reproductive experiences complement routine annual data collections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Early online date30 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • abortion
  • adoption
  • Australia
  • fertility
  • induced
  • infertility
  • live birth
  • national survey
  • pregnancy
  • spontaneous


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