Childless women’s knowledge of fertility and assisted human reproduction: identifying the gaps

Capsule:
An online questionnaire to assess the fertility and assisted human reproduction knowledge of 3,345 childless women found significant knowledge gaps that may undermine informed childbearing decision making.

Authors:
Judith C. Daniluk, Ph.D., Emily Koert, M.A., Anthony Cheung, M.B.B.S., M.P.H.
Volume 97, Issue 2 , Pages 420-426, February 2012

Objective:
To determine the knowledge about fertility and assisted human reproduction (AHR) treatments of a large sample of childless women.

Design:
Self-report questionnaire comprising two self-ratings of current fertility and AHR knowledge, and 16 knowledge questions related to fertility and AHR.

Setting:
Online.

Patient(s):
A total of 3,345 childless women between the ages of 20 and 50.

Intervention(s):
None.

Main Outcome Measure(s):
Knowledge of fertility and AHR.

Result(s):
The majority of participants rated themselves as having some knowledge or being fairly knowledgeable about fertility and AHR. However, on the 16 knowledge questions, overall knowledge was low, with 50% or more of the sample answering only 6 of 16 questions correctly.

Conclusion(s):
The data suggest that the women in the study have no coherent body of knowledge regarding age-related fertility and AHR treatment options. With an increasing number of women electing to delay childbearing, there is a critical need for public education regarding age-related fertility declines and the availability, costs, and limitations of AHR. This study offers important mental health contributions to infertility prevention and public health education efforts.

Translate »