Top 10 things you should know about your fertility

As a perfect closure to this month and our discussions on fertility, I thought I would share with you the great opportunity I recently had to work with First Response, Fertility, Ovulation & Pregnancy Tests in New York City to get the word out to the media about a recent study they helped to develop.

Edelman Berland surveyed 1,250 women ages 18-40 from March 4-10, 2013 to better understand women’s knowledge and concerns about their own reproductive knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding reproductive health and conception.
First Response partnered with researchers at the Yale School of Medicine to take a look at the data and compiled a study that was published in Fertility and Sterility January 2014 issue.

The study found that women today are unfamiliar with their reproductive health and held many misperceptions about their ability to conceive.
Here were the top 10 findings from the study:

1. 41% of women believe that their ovaries continue to make new eggs as they age, when in fact women are born with the number of eggs they’ll have their whole life. (Understatement on fertility blog)

2. 40% of women did not know that the timing of ovulation is 14 days before a woman’s period

3. 60% of women incorrectly believed that intercourse should be timed after ovulation to maximize chances of conception

4. 30% of women are unaware that exposure to an STI’s may affect fertility

  • STI’s like Gonorrhea and Chlamydia can cause scarring in your tubes that can cause blockage and prevent the sperm from reaching the egg


5. Only 58% of Hispanic women start thinking about their reproductive health before they are ready to try to conceive, compared to 70% of the general population

6.  Hispanic women are more likely than the general population to post their pregnancy news on Facebook (GP: 40%, H: 49%) or share over a text message (GP: 24%, H: 34%).

  • Although Hispanic women are less likely than the general population to take part in some of the planning steps leading up to trying to have a baby, they are more likely to share the joys of having their baby over social media.
  • As educators, we can take advantage of the way groups of people are communicating and make use of this to reach out and send valuable health information through these social media avenues.


7. Today, 63% of women named economical and societal factors as issues impacting their decisions to conceive

  • 38% cited the state of the economy as a reason that impacted their decision to conceive
  •  25% noted the balance of work and parenting as factors in their decision to conceive


8. Only 50% of women surveyed had ever discussed their reproductive health with their medical provider

9. While 70% of women felt it is important to consider reproductive health before they started trying to conceive, 36% of the respondents reported not visiting a women’s health care provider annually and 10% of women had never seen a women’s health care provider

  • Women today need to have more frequent and open conversations about ovulation, fertility and pregnancy with their health care providers or trusted resources


10. Women in all age groups chose women’s health care providers (75%) and websites (40%) as their top sources of reproductive health-related information



It is quite obvious and not a surprise that women need to have more knowledge about their bodies  in general and their reproductive health specifically.  Hence the inspiration for  Remember our mantra: Educate. Engage. Empower.

Educate:  I was excited to see that most of these misconceptions had already been discussed with my readers in the last month.  If you missed it I linked it to the relevant blog.  My job while I was in NYC was to spread the word to as many latino media venues as we could…and that we did!  Keep checking our News & Media tab for new coverage.  Shouts out to the amazing Edelman team and all their hard work!  This helps to educate people and get them thinking about their reproductive health so that they can move on to the next step.
Engage: This one is all you ladies.  When it comes to your fertility, you want to be prepared and assure that you are in good health prior to starting becoming pregnant and assure that you are able to become pregnant before it gets too late.  The study showed that women were not having these very important conversations with their doctors, some not even visiting their doctors on a regular basis.    We need to start discussing our concerns with the people who can help us, our physicians.  As women the process starts with selecting a doctor you are comfortable with, and that you feel you can have these intimate and often difficult conversations with.  Actually going to the gynecologist on an annual basis doesn’t hurt either…and really it doesn’t hurt!  If you missed my blog “Open wide…and no, you are not at the dentist!” here is a refresher on what actually happens at your annual exam to take the jitters out.
Empower:  Being knowledgeable about your body and your health and being proactive about your fertility is empowerment.  When it comes to fertility just this much can make a huge difference in your ability to conceive….or in your decision to not conceive.  The choice is yours–as long as it was made with the right knowledge and facts.  As long as you are empowered by it, we are too.