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Poor Fertility Knowledge Contributes to Unnecessary Fertility Treatment

Update Date: Sep 04, 2012 09:15 AM EDT
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A survey conducted on of women seeking fertility assistance to conceive has found many women ignorant about the right period for conception, resulting in artificial insemination. 

According to the findings of the study in Australia led by researchers at Monash University, out of the 204 infertile women seeking fertility treatment surveyed, only 13 percent could correctly identify the right days of the menstrual cycle and period to conceive.

The right time to try to conceive a baby is three days just before and including ovulation, when the woman is fertile. This occurs about 14 days before the start of a period. 

The study also found that while 68 per cent of the women believed they had accurately timed intercourse during the peak fertility days while 87 per cent tried to improve fertility knowledge when they could not conceive. Internet and books were found to be the most common source of knowledge for women. 

"This study found a majority of the women seeking fertility treatment had insufficient knowledge of when to time intercourse to optimize natural conception," Principle investigator Kerry Hampton, from Monash University's Department of General Practice said according to Medical Xpress.

"It would appear that a gap exists between what women desire in relation to fertility-awareness education with the knowledge and understanding of health professionals and what they actually know," she added. 

According to Hampton, a lack of knowledge of fertility days could contribute to infertility, which affects about one in six couples in Australia. 

"Accurately timed intercourse on fertile days of the menstrual cycle may reduce the time it takes a couple to get pregnant, helping some to avoid unnecessary ART treatment. Fertility education should be a fundamental part of pre-conception care and the primary care of couples when they first report difficulty conceiving," Hampton said. 

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected sexual intercourse, the report said. 

The study was published in the International Journal of Advanced Nursing.

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