Prevalence of menstrual disorders in young women and associations with the early life environment

Research Opportunity
Masters by Research, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Master Places Available
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Royal Women’s Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Martha Hickey +61 03 8345 3715 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Jennifer Marino +61383453718 Personal web page

Summary Menstrual disorders and pelvic pain are common and confer a major health, social and economic burden. This project analyses data from a population-based cohort to measure prevalence and predictors of symptoms.

Project Details

Around one third of women experience heavy andor painful menstrual periods and up to one quarter report chronic pelvic pain. These symptoms may have a profound impact on health and wellbeing for women and a major health and economic burden for our society. Very little is known about the mechanisms underlying these conditions and an improved understanding could inform strategies for prevention or targeted therapies which would be of international significance. Uterine and endometrial development occurs during fetal life and prenatal exposures (such as endocrine disruptors) are known to impact on function during adulthood. We will use data collected in an Australian cohort to answer the following questions:

What is the prevalence of heavy and/or painful menstruation and pelvic pain in young women (age 14-22 years)?

What is the prevalence and nature of treatments for heavypainful menstruation and pelvic pain?

What is the association with prenatal exposures (maternal smoking, endocrine disruptors (digit ratio willdivdivbe used as an indicator of androgen ratio), birthweight), childhood factors (BMI), young adult factorsdivdiv(HPA axis dysregulation)?

What is the association between heavypainful menstruation and pelvic pain and mental health?

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Cancer in Medicine, Women's Health

Research Opportunities

Masters by Research, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.


Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Research Node

Royal Women’s Hospital

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