Purpose: The improved life-expectancy in cystic fibrosis (CF) results in the fact that the majority of affected young women now survive to face the same reproductive health decisions as other women, in addition to those that specifically relate to CF. The aim of this study was to assess the reproductive health knowledge of women with CF, to investigate the range of their reproductive health problems, and to review their reproductive health attitudes and behaviors.
Methods: Women aged 18 years and over attending CF services in the state of Victoria, Australia were invited to complete a reproductive health questionnaire. Comparison subjects (n = 76) were enrolled from 2 primary care practices.
Results: Fifty-five women participated (89%), with a median age of 22 years (range 18-50). There was no significant difference in marital status between the two groups and a similar proportion were sexually active, yet women with CF were less likely to use contraception. A majority of women with CF believed that fertility was reduced, and there was poor knowledge of the potentially deleterious effect of pregnancy. A relatively high proportion were planning to become pregnant in the near future. Twenty-two percent had tried to conceive, with a success rate of 67%.
Conclusions: Women with CF are currently lacking important information about reproductive health that potentially has a major impact on their health and their lives.