Strong with fertility education
“By all we know now, we have left down several generations of women.” says Denisa Priadková, Founder of the global network in-fertility. “They have been led to believe all they needed to know about their fertility was contraception, use of condoms, how to avoid STD and unwanted pregnancy. That was their fertility education. Three decades later our team from in-fertility network has asked over 3,000 teenagers what exactly they knew about women’s chances to get pregnant. We have asked them 15 basic questions about their menstrual cycle and chances to conceive. About fertility and what puts it in great danger. Here we are, two years later, with a sad proof in our hands, they know almost nothing.”
What makes it even worse is the fact the knowledge of their pedagogues was not much better. They are barely aware of ovulation, let alone the quality or maturation of egg or about the quality of sperm. They have no idea what impact does smoking, air pollution, hormone disruptors, certain medication, diseases, age or stress have on their chances of becoming a mother or a father when one day – for them in a very distant future – when they choose to start a family with someone they love.
How did we come to this? Is it because we feared HIV in the ’80s? Did we fear the women will get pregnant too early? Will they have too many children? Actually it does not matter anymore. Fertility knowledge is at a catastrophic level and all the experts seem to do is warn women not to delay their pregnancy due to their career building or finding a boyfriend ready to settle and have a family too late. We threaten them with the right hand and offer assisted reproduction and “alternative” family building with the other.
We have failed dramatically. And we keep failing. Women of many generations are already paying the full price (not even including clinically unproven add-ons costing them extra thousands of dollars, pounds or euros). With time, energy, money, sadness, pain, despair, anger, loneliness, stress and other invisible issues accompanying the period of unsuccessful trying to conceive. That is why in-fertility network initiated the FerTeen campaign with unique ambitions to change the situation. Denisa Priadková closely monitors the activities of about 40 countries in #fertilityeducation since 2007 and set up a group of educators and experts in over 10 medical fields/specializations. “In 2016 we have addressed several partners with the initiative and since then FerTeen has made significant progress and in-fertility network is looking for the next stage of it, including major stakeholders in the field.”
Assisted reproduction or IVF are important advantages of modern medicine, helping women who in thousands of years in history had no chance of becoming pregnant and having their own biological child. However, invasive medical treatment shall not fix the lack of knowledge of teenagers who believe they can get pregnant every time they go to bed with someone, know too little about proper contraception and think they can easily get pregnant until the age of 55. Well, media shows you some of these proud mothers every week, don’t they?
We have learned our lesson and are ready to educate the young generation properly. The feedback from the 3,000 teenagers and dozens of teachers is an excellent start. FerTeen has a detailed road map of action for what information is missing, but also about what catches the interest of current teenagers (and what does not at all, which is equally important), what are the media and tools they are following as well as who is the authority they are willing to listen to.
FerTeen builds the tracts of the road, advising them in a revolutionary way about the basics of society because their fertility is the future of their family and the future of the entire society. Our team works on the project of fertility education with unique dedication because it is time to change what they know about fertility. And that is exactly what the in-fertility network is going to do in 2020. In case you wish to know more or join one of our working groups, drop us a line, we will let you know how you can help.