Reproductive health outcomes of Women of the North

fertility reproductive health childbirth

Dr. H. Groen
dr. A. Hoek
L.L. Peters

Nature of the research:
Cohort study of the data regarding female reproduction and fertility in the LifeLines population.

Fields of study:
epidemiology obstetrics

Background / introduction
The Northern part of the Netherlands is an area that is different from the rest of the country with respect to health and lifestyle factors. With respect to reproduction and childbirth, women in the North have less children, and perinatal mortality is higher than in the rest of the country. This coincides with distinct patterns of obesity and socio-economic status. Apart from pregnancy outcomes, which are registered in the national registry Perined, no systematic data are collected regarding fertility and reproduction in this region. Using a specifically designed questionnaire, we have collected data from women of reproductive age in the LifeLines cohort regarding fertility, pregnancies and childbirth and their experience of these events.
Research question / problem definition
1. Which factors (e.g. biological, lifestyle, social) and exposures are associated with cycle irregularities, time to pregnancy, conception (primary and secondary infertility), and course of pregnancy (i.e. pregnancies with/without complications) and mode of birth?
2. What are the effects of cycle irregularities, mode of conception, course of pregnancy (e.g. with or without complications), mode of birth (e.g. spontaneous, induction, pain management, episiotomy, augmentation of labor, medication during labor, mode of birth) on short-term women’s and children’s health outcomes and on women’s experiences of childbirth and desired family life?
Due to the complexity of the data, this project is only suitable for students who have at least six months to work on this.
The data will provide information about the following aspects:
- menstrual cycle characteristics: onset (menarche), regularity, blood loss, menopause
- contraceptive use: type and duration
- health complaints related to reproductive organs: incontinence, benign and malignant tumours, sexually transmitted diseases, eating disorder, surgery
- fertility: time to pregnancy, fertility problems, fertility treatments
- pregnancy: outcomes of all previous pregnancies, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, live births, mode of conception, induction of labour, mode of delivery, gestational age at delivery, pregnancy complications, neonatal outcomes such as birth weight, breast feeding,
- most recent pregnancy: gestational weight gain, environmental exposures (radiation, chemicals) occupation (burden, working hours), experience of pregnancy, recovery after pregnancy.
- family planning
- social support
Cohort Profile: LifeLines, a three-generation cohort study and biobank. Scholtens et al. Int J Epidemiol 2015
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