Reproductive Health

Reproductive Health


Reproductive health is influenced by age, lifestyle (smoking, alcohol, nutrition), genetics, some medications and exposure to chemicals in the environment. The Group is investigating the development and reproductive health the Raine Cohort. The Group's research has focused on the age of puberty, menstruation in teenagers, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), hormone exposure before birth, and male fertility.


PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder of women during their reproductive year. Data from the Raine Cohort has shown that the risk of PCOS in adolescents is much higher than previously thought. People are exposed to increasing amounts of chemicals in the environment. Some known as 'endocrine disruptors', have undesirable effects on hormones and their function. Current evidence suggests that these disruptors have a significant effect on male fertility.


During 2010 and 2011, the Raine Study cohort male fertility study was completed and has provided internationally unique information. Results indicate that excessive alcohol consumption and the use of illicit drugs has a significant negative effect on the quality and number of viable sperm. The results also suggest that impaired fetal growth, exposure to maternal smoking, lower childhood growth trajectory and increased adiposity may lead to reduced semen parameters in adulthood.


Members of this group are involved in the first long term study to analyse the long-term health outcomes of children born resulting from IVF treatment. The Raine Study cohort participants will be used as the known reference standard population for comparisons of growth, metabolic, respiratory, psychological, immunological and reproductive development.


Research Team

Professor Roger Hart MBBS MD FRANZCOG

Professor John Newnham MBBS MD

A/Professor Craig Pennell MBBS PhD FRANZCOG

A/Professor Dorota Doherty PhD

Professor Jeffrey Keelan MSc PhD

Dr Monique Robinson MPsych PhD


Professor Martha Hickey MSc(Clin Psych) MBChB FRANZCOG MD

Dr Jennifer Marino PhD

University of Melbourne


A/Prof Jennifer Stone PhD

Centre for Genetic Origins of Health and Disease, UWA


Professor Robert Norman AO

Dr Michael Davies

University of Adelaide



  • 2013-2017, NHMRC 1042269, R Hart, C Pennell, D Doherty, M Robinson, The long-term consequences of IVF treatment for the offspring - a prospective cohort study using the Raine Cohort for comparison, $1,552,096.
  • 2010-2012, NHMRC 634457, R Hart, M Hickey, N Skakkeb√¶k, S Junk, D Doherty, D Sloboda, The early life origins of impaired testicular function: A prospective cohort study, $600,313.
  • 2012, Danish Council of Strategic Studies, K Main, N Skakkebaek, F Toppari, L Dunkel, R Hart, B LeBize, Early and current life exposure to endocrine disrupting chemical and their effect on reproductive function, $35,000.
  • 2012, Womens and Infants Research Foundation,  R Hart, T Hunter, K Main, The effects of environmental endocrine disruptors in testicular function in the male offspring of the Raine Cohort, $15,000.



Prof Roger Hart