An American study published on Monday 27 January in the Fertility and Sterility journal revealed that whilst the basics in terms of fertility are acquired, factors that promote or hinder a baby’s conception are known to far less of an extent by women wishing to become mothers.
According to a telephone survey involving a thousand female Americans in March 2013, "one out of every two women of child-bearing age (18-40 years) will never have broached the subject of fertility with her doctor". Similarly, only "one in ten women knew that it was better to have intercourse in the days preceding ovulation" than after ovulation. In addition, more than one in four did not realise that smoking, obesity, irregular menstrual cycles or some sexually transmissible infections (gonococcus, Chlamydia) reduced the success rates of conceiving a child each month.
Five years ago, a similar type of survey was conducted in France by the French National College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians (CNGOF). According to the conclusions of the BVA Institute, the survey also highlighted "a certain unawareness of French people in terms of fertility or a good number of perceptions".
For Dr. Gilles Grangé, gynaecologist-obstetrician at Hôpital Cochin in Paris, these results are not surprising: "Women do not always understand how the menstrual cycle works – perhaps because they are not given enough education on this subject at school," he lamented. "That’s the least you need to know in order to have every chance of succeeding", added the gynaecologist.