Media Release: Fertility Week (12-18 October)

Fertility Week (12 to 18 October) focuses on the impact that age has on fertility in Australia and around the world.

In the face of drastically falling fertility rates the world is facing the prospect of declining populations.

In 2017 Australia’s fertility rate – the average number of children a woman gives birth to – was 1.76 births per woman; down from 3.45 in 1960.

For a country to replace its population the fertility rate needs to be 2.1 children per woman but current modelling shows that by 2100 the global fertility rate will be only 1.66. By 2050 there will be 151 countries with a fertility rate below the level required for replacement. Fewer births will have a significant impact on economies: fewer consumers and fewer tax payers coupled with increasing numbers of older, less economically active, people.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Research Institute (RRI) study the factors which impact fertility.

People trying for a family can use the Healthy Conception Tool, developed by the RRI in collaboration with the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA), to get more information about fertility and what they can do to improve their chances of having a baby.

It is available on the VARTA Your Fertility website and, since Monday 5 October, on the MediBank website.

The tool asks questions about people’s diet, weight, lifestyle and most importantly age as well as other factors which influence fertility.

A pdf printout informs people about factors impacting their fertility potential, refers to information on improving these factors, and is a useful starting point for any future GP and IVF clinician consults. The RRI, which focuses on the early stages of life to improve the health and well-being of children and families over the life course and across generations, collects the de-identified data which is a rich research resource for future analysis.



Experts from the RRI are available for interviews about fertility and using the Healthy Conception Tool:

Professor Sarah Robertson, Director, Robinson Research Institute, The University of Adelaide. Phone: 8313 1435, Email:

Professor Ray Rogers, NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, Robinson Research Institute, The University of Adelaide. Phone: 8313 3932, Email:

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