The other side of the fertility coin a comparison of childless mens and womens knowledge of fertility and assisted reproductive technology

An online questionnaire assessed fertility and ART knowledge of 599 childless men. These findings were compared to a sample of childless women. Significant knowledge gaps were identified.

Judith C. Daniluk, Ph.D. and Emily Koert, M.A.

Volume 99, Issue 3, Pages 839-846, 1 March 2013


To determine childless men’s knowledge about fertility and Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) treatments and family building options, when compared to knowledge of a sample of childless women.

Self-report questionnaire comprising 2 self-ratings and 20 knowledge questions related to later childbearing and AHR.

Online survey.

A total of 599 presumed fertile, childless men between the ages of 20 and 50.


Main Outcome Measure(s):
Knowledge of fertility and AHR as measured by the male version of the Fertility Awareness Survey (FAS-M).

The majority of participants rated themselves as having some knowledge or being fairly knowledgeable about fertility and AHR. However, on the 20 knowledge questions, overall knowledge was limited, with more than 50% of the sample answering only 4 of 20 knowledge questions correctly. These men demonstrated even less knowledge of fertility and AHR than childless women.

Given that the childless men in our study had no coherent body of knowledge regarding age-related fertility and AHR treatment and family building options, men may be contributing to the trend to delay childbearing. If they are to be effective in supporting informed fertility and childbearing decisions, education programs must target both women and men.

  • Micah Hill

    Congratulations on your study and on the grant! It seems like a truly important opportunity to increase education. I didn’t see it in your paper, but do you have any data on childless men and their knowledge of the negative effects of exogenous steroids on spermatogenesis?

  • Judith Daniluk

    …..On the basis of these findings, we received a grant from the Canadian
    Institutes for Health Research for the development of an interactive
    website to promote more informed fertility and childbearing decisions.
    As well as static content specific to fertility and
    AHR, and decision-making and communication strategies, medical and
    mental health professionals generously donate their time to respond to
    visitors’ specific questions. New material is posted weekly on the site.
    Since going live in June of 2012, has had 65,000 views by visitors from 167 countries.

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