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Infertility knowledge and attitudes in urban high school students

by Susan Quach, Clifford Librach
Fertility and Sterility ()

Abstract

Objective: To assess knowledge and attitudes about infertility through a survey. Design: Descriptive study with stratified random sampling. Setting: Eighteen high schools were selected in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Patient(s): Seven hundred seventy-two students participated in the study. The mean age of students was 17.5 ± 0.98 years. Females were 49.02% (n = 377) of the sample. The sample was ethnically diverse, consisting of >13 groups. Intervention(s): None. Main Outcome Measure(s): The main outcome was infertility knowledge and attitudes. Secondary analysis compared gender and socioeconomic status. Result(s): The majority (608; 79%) of high school students were familiar with the term infertility (95% confidence interval: 76%, 82%). More than 94% did not know that chlamydia or gonorrhea could lead to infertility. Seventy percent felt that protecting their fertility was important to them, with significantly more females feeling this way. There was a higher proportion of students from schools with low socioeconomic status who gave incorrect answers to knowledge-related questions and were unaware of the association between sexually transmitted infections and infertility. Conclusion(s): Although the majority of students value their fertility, knowledge about preventable factors causing infertility was limited. Increased efforts are needed to educate students on factors that may affect their fertility. © 2008 American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

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