New study published on fertility awareness among American university students

May 07, 2012

ORANGE, Calif. - A groundbreaking study lead by Chapman University professor Brennan Peterson, Ph.D. on fertility awareness of American college students will be published in the May 5th edition of Human Reproduction--a top-tier international journal in reproductive biology. It is the first such study on fertility awareness among American undergraduate university students. In the USA, the postponement of childbearing is reflective of contemporary social norms of delaying marriage, pursuing education and securing economic stability prior to having a baby. However the awareness of the impact of age on fertility among American college students is low.

Dr. Peterson, an expert in infertility, and the lead author on the study, notes, "The findings from this study show that while undergraduate university students in our sample believed they are educated about fertility issues, they consistently overestimate the ages at which fertility declines in women, as well as their chances of success if they used fertility treatments to achieve pregnancy. It is important that men and women are educated regarding fertility issues so they make informed reproductive decisions, rather than relying on inaccurate information which may ultimately result in involuntary childlessness."

Infertility - or the inability to conceive or give birth to a child after one year of regular sexual relations without the use of contraceptives - impacts between 80 million to 160 million people in the world today. In the United States, 4.3 million married couples (15%) have been diagnosed with infertility.

For women, fertility rapidly declines between ages 35 and 37. Couples who unknowingly delay pregnancy past a woman's window of fertility may be faced with involuntary childlessness and unexpected cope with the stresses of infertility. When a couple is diagnosed with infertility they are likely to experience unexpected stress, increased depression and changes to their social family networks. These stresses, coupled with the burdens of fertility treatments, can be an enormous challenge for couples which often takes years to resolve.

Infertility has many causes which are often not preventable (e.g., irregular ovulation, low sperm count). However, avoiding the decline in fertility associated with age is well within a person's control. Despite this, many young men and women are unaware of the exact nature of the relationship between fertility and age and new research conducted at Chapman University suggests American college students lack fundamental awareness of reproductive issues as well as the impact of age on fertility--overestimating their chances to get pregnant at ages when pregnancy is unlikely. For example, young people see celebrities having children into their 40's and conclude that they can wait and "simply" get fertility treatment to get pregnant later in life.
-end-
The research, called Fertility awareness and parenting attitudes among American male and female undergraduate university students (HUMREP - 11 - 1203.R1) is published in Human Reproduction doi:10.1093/humrep/des011. The online publication is attached. The article also appears in the May 5th version of the print journal.

Consistently ranked among the top universities in the West, Chapman University provides a uniquely personalized and interdisciplinary educational experience to highly qualified students. Our programs encourage innovation, creativity and collaboration, and focus on developing global citizen-leaders who are distinctively prepared to improve their community and their world. Visit www.chapman.edu.

Follow us on Facebook at: Chapman University Facebook
On Twitter at: @ChapmanU
On YouTube at: Chapman University YouTube Channel

Chapman University

Related Fertility Articles from Brightsurf:

What are your chances of having a second IVF baby after fertility treatment for the first?
As the restrictions on fertility clinics start to be lifted and IVF treatment resumes, research published in Human Reproduction journal offers reassuring news to women who have had to delay their treatment for a second IVF baby because of the coronavirus.

Fertility preservation use among transgender adolescents
Transgender adolescents often seek hormonal intervention to achieve a body consistent with their gender identity and those interventions affect reproductive function.

A new way to assess male fertility
Current tests for male fertility include measuring the concentration and motility of spermatozoa.

Male fertility after chemotherapy: New questions raised
Professor Delb├Ęs, who specializes in reproductive toxicology, conducted a pilot study in collaboration with oncologists and fertility specialists from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) on a cohort of 13 patients, all survivors of pediatric leukemia and lymphoma.

Vaping may harm fertility in young women
E-cigarette usage may impair fertility and pregnancy outcomes, according to a mouse study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society.

Are fertility apps useful?
Researchers at EPFL and Stanford have carried out an analysis of the largest datasets from fertility awareness apps.

Marijuana and fertility: Five things to know
For patients who smoke marijuana and their physicians, 'Five things to know about ... marijuana and fertility' provides useful information for people who may want to conceive.

How could a changing climate affect human fertility?
Human adaptation to climate change may include changes in fertility, according to a new study by an international group of researchers.

Migrants face a trade-off between status and fertility
Researchers from the universities of Helsinki, Turku and Missouri as well as the Family Federation of Finland present the first results from a new, extraordinarily comprehensive population-wide dataset that details the lives of over 160,000 World War II evacuees in terms of integration.

Phthalates may impair fertility in female mice
A phthalate found in many plastic and personal care products may decrease fertility in female mice, a new study found.

Read More: Fertility News and Fertility Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.