The study into female fertility found that for 43 percent of women aged 18-44 their top priority in life was their family and friends.
This was followed by the relationship with their partner at 18 percent and their health at 14 percent. But having a baby was still one percent higher over women’s careers - with only three percent of respondents saying their job came in at number one.
Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at an Australian University, William Ledger said it was ‘‘significant’’ that having a baby was not more of a priority, given the fertility of the age group.
‘‘This result reflects current social trends that show that Australian women are, on average, making the decision to start their family at a later age than ever before,’’ a major newspaper quoted him as saying in a statement.
Women, however, should be aware of the impact of delaying starting a family, he said.
‘‘Not only can waiting to have a baby beyond their early 30s lead to difficulty in conceiving for many women, the ... survey also shows the possible effects of waiting on relationship issues such as stress (78 per cent) and sex being seen as a chore (53 per cent),” he said.
Those surveyed 70 per cent of the women reported knowing at least one person in their social circle who has had problems conceiving, and almost 50 percent of those trying to fall pregnant said they were experiencing difficulties.
Nevertheless, being short of cash when bills were due trumped other stressful life events at 48 percent, followed by the loss of a job at 26 percent.
These dwarfed the pressure of trying to conceive, which came in at only five percent of the 1010 women surveyed.