As surprising as it seems, about half of women of reproductive age have not talked to their health care provider about their reproductive health, according to a new study.
As a result, the researchers, from the Yale School of Medicine, found that women between ages 18 and 40 weren't aware of some the important factors that influence fertility and their ability to get pregnant, as well as about basic prenatal practices once they were expecting.
(MORE: The Frontiers of Fertility)
Among the most notable findings, which were published in the journal, Fertility & Sterility :
- 30% of the women reported that they only visited a reproductive health provider less than once a year or not at all.
- 50% of the women did not know that taking multivitamins and folic acid are recommended to avoid birth defects.
- A little over 25% of women did not know that things like STDs, smoking and obesity impact fertility.
- 20% did not know that aging can impact fertility and increase rates of miscarriage
- 50% of the women thought that having sex multiple times in a day increased their likelihood of getting pregnant
- Over 33% of women thought that different sex positions can increase their odds of getting pregnant
- 10% did not know that they should have sex before ovulation to increase the chances of getting pregnant instead of after ovulation
The significant gaps in the women's knowledge about their fertility may also explain why 40% reported that they had concerns and questions about their ability to get pregnant. The researchers believe that as women put off starting families -- the latest CDC report showed women between 25 to 29 years old have the highest pregnancy rates, compared to women aged 20 to 24 in earlier years -- doctors, particularly reproductive health specialists, should have more opportunity for improving women's education about fertility and pregnancy so they know what to expect when they are finally ready to have a child.