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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: February 2014

17 - Consequences of changes in reproductive patterns on later health in women: a life course approach

Reproductive health, from menarche to menopause, is not only understood as integral to women's overall health and wellbeing but is increasingly recognised as a sentinel of chronic disease in later life. The changing patterns of reproductive function are explained with regard to trends in child bearing. The difficulty in conceiving naturally for those women who delay childbearing may have also contributed to the increased use of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilisation. The rise in popularity of these treatments over the past two decades reflects both the increasing demand for fertility treatments but also their wider acceptability and availability. To predict future trends in chronic disease for women based on their changing patterns of reproductive characteristics, the risk factors linked to reproductive health and health in later life to be considered are: obesity, hormone therapy use, and other risk factors such as social inequalities.
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Reproductive Ageing
  • Online ISBN: 9781107784734
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