Those aged 34 and under do not know enough about issues around fertility and overestimate their ability to be able to conceive, the first ever Irish study shows.
A shift towards delayed age of first pregnancy has led to an increased need for Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART).
The study, An Investigation into Fertility Awareness amongst the child-bearing population, carried out by the Department of Obstetrics and the National Perinatal Epidemiology Centre, Cork University Maternity Hospital, aimed to discover the knowledge and attitudes towards fertility.
The authors pointed out that the “predominant age group” of respondents was under 25 (at 44.8 per cent) while 24.1 per cent were those aged 30-34 years. Despite societal changes, the consequences of delaying child-bearing “cannot be ignored” they pointed out.
Women were more likely to think that the age of a man is an important factor affecting a couple’s fertility.
Men were more likely to report a progressive decrease in a woman’s ability to become pregnant over 35 years. They were also more likely to report that a woman’s weight affects fertility.