A group of international fertility education experts has launched an educational poster that explains what people can do to have the best chance of having a healthy child.
The age at which a woman first gives birth is increasing in many countries. Because fertility declines with age, this means some people will struggle to have children, or will have fewer children than they had hoped to have.
“Research indicates that the proportion of childless people who have reached the end of their reproductive years is increasing,” says Monash University’s Dr Karin Hammarberg, who also contributes to Australian fertility education website Your Fertility.
Dr Hammarberg says that barriers to conception, such as a lack of awareness about the impact of age and health behaviours on fertility and pregnancy, can compound matters. She says there is a big gap between the ideal biological age and the ideal social age of conception.
“This poster is a useful resource for people wanting to improve their chances of conceiving, and it is also a practical tool for health professionals to use in discussions with patients,” she says.
The poster also aims to build awareness of the need for fertility education at a government level.
“Our aim is for every country to have a government-sponsored fertility education website with independent and evidence-based information,” says Dr Hammarberg.
The poster was launched in the European Parliament in November 2019 by the fertility education group, which is led by Professor Joyce Harper, Professor of Reproductive Science at the Institute for Women's Health, University College London, UK. So far it has been translated into 20 languages.
The following organisations contributed to the poster: Clearblue, Fertility Europe, ESHRE, Fertility Fest, Global Women Connected, UK Fertility Education Initiative, British Fertility Society, Your Fertility, and ReproUnion. The group also included people from academic institutions working on fertility education initiatives in the UK, Sweden, Canada and Portugal.
Find more fertility education resources on the Your Fertility website.