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Women want more fertility education in Australia

A new report on the state of women’s fertility awareness has revealed that 4 in 5 women want more education about it.

One in six Australian couples will struggle with infertility, yet it’s still an issue that’s often considered taboo and not talked about enough. But attitudes are slowly shifting, and when it comes to the state of women’s fertility awareness in Australia, women want to know more.

A new report released by women’s healthcare company Organon has revealed that 4 in 5 women want more education about the issue. 

Based on a survey of 2044 Aussie women aged 18-45, the report stated that more than 80% of women believe that all women of childbearing age should receive fertility education, with 66% saying they would like to improve their own knowledge of women’s fertility. 

There are various causes of infertility impacting both women and men. Women may experience hormonal disorders, damaged or blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis or very thick cervical mucus. Men may have low sperm count or ejaculation failure.  

Organon's report showed that while many knew of the options available to them to help conceive, only half understood what infertility actually means. 

One in two women understood the definition of infertility as being unable to fall pregnant after 12 months of trying, while 7 in 10 women were able to list fertility therapies and options including IVF, surrogacy, IUI and egg freezing. 

When it came to speaking to their GP about fertility, more than 80% of women said they were comfortable doing so. Most women understood endometriosis (90%) and polycystic ovary syndrome (88%) are major health issues women should talk to medical professionals about before trying to fall pregnant. 

Teniele Spicer started her fertility journey earlier than she had planned to after being diagnosed with Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). The Sydney-based woman, who is expecting her first child, encouraged people to have discussions with their doctor about fertility as early on as they can. 

“If it wasn’t for the conversations I had with my GP at 18 years old that led to my diagnosis of PCOS, I doubt I would have started thinking about my fertility options until much later, which would have left me scrambling to start my fertility journey when I should have already started,” Spicer said in a statement to Women’s Agenda.

“Conversations between Australians that want to have children and their GPs need to begin early. As in my case, with knowledge comes power, and with a largely supportive public system, we actually do have the power to act early on fertility.”