Test Your Basic Fertility Literacy
How’d you do? Don’t feel bad, if you missed a few. You’re not alone. In the survey, Fertility and infertility: What do students at an Ivy League college really know? Undergraduate students were asked questions regarding fertility. The results revealed how little they know about the reproductive cycle.
“When asked when a woman is most fertile during her menstrual cycle, only 27.5% (382) of respondents were able to correctly identify the proper time period. When asked to estimate how long sperm can stay alive in the reproductive tract, the median response was 24 hours, and only 20.4% of all respondents correctly identified the time interval between 3-5 days. Similarly, when asked how long an oocyte is fertilizable after ovulation the median response was 72 hours, and only 19.7% of respondents correctly identified the time interval between 12 and 24 hours.”
This makes me wonder what percentage of the “unexplained fertility” couples has more to do with lack of proper timing of intercourse, or how many unwanted pregnancies could be avoided if it were common place know how our reproductives cycles actually worked. I remember spending a lot of time in high school biology class agonizing over the role of mitochondria, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum and golgi apparatus, but learned nothing practical about my own body. Can you imagine if the Fertility Awareness Method (or “Menstrual Health Awareness Method” depending on what phrase you’re more comfortable with) was taught in biology class? Personally, I like the name “Know Your Body Because Your Body is Cool Method”. Knowing how the body works empowers women and gives them vital information regarding their own health. Not just for fertility awareness, but also for menstrual health awareness and beyond. You can learn a lot about your overall health by charting your cycle. Self Care starts with body literacy.