Sex in Australia: Reproductive experiences and reproductive health among a representative sample of women

Anthony M.A. Smith, Chris E. Rissel, Juliet Richters, Andrew E. Grulich, Richard O. De Visser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To document the reproductive experiences of a representative sample of Australian women aged 16-59 years. Method: Computer-assisted telephone interviews were completed by a representative sample of 10,173 men and 9,134 women aged 16-59 years from all States and Territories. The overall response rate was 73.1% (69.4% among men, and 77.6% among women). Women were asked the number of times they had experienced a live birth, a still birth, a miscarriage and a termination of pregnancy. Results: Of the women surveyed, 15.5% reported having experienced difficulty in becoming pregnant and 76.1% had been pregnant at least once. Nearly all the women who had been pregnant reported experiencing a live birth. Substantial minorities of women reported having experienced a miscarriage (33.4%) or a termination of pregnancy (22.6%). The percentage of women who reported becoming pregnant the first time as a teenager declined from 22.8% among women aged 50-59 to 16.9% among women aged 20-29. Of those who had had vaginal intercourse, 19.2% had used emergency contraception, 53.3% of them only once. Conclusion: There was clear evidence of substantial changes in the fertility of Australian women over the past 40 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-209
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes

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