Project to educate teenagers about fertility issues

Project to educate teenagers about fertility issues

Headed by Reproduction specialist Dr Geeta Nargund, the project includes fertility modules that cover basic biology, information about egg decline and lifestyle factors, like drinking and smoking, which can affect future fertility.

Dr Nargund, a NHS consultant on reproductive health for over 20 years, has been campaigning for fertility to be taught in secondary schools, insisting that it is about giving a balanced and scientific overview of fertility as a whole.

‘The fact is, one in six couples in the UK have trouble with conceiving and infertility is the second most common reason women go to see their GP,” she told the BBC. “It is not something that should ignored and we want to send out a preventative, pro-active and progressive health education message.”

Some have criticised the programme, saying that 15 is too young for women to carry the burden of infertility, and that instead they should be educated on preventing sexually transmitted diseases and contraception.

The greater reality is perhaps that after decades of health education and campaigning, teenage pregnancies in England and Wales are at their lowest since records began in 1969. Whereas further down the line, many women have found that after spending decades desperately trying not to get pregnant, when they finally want to start a family they can’t.

In her role as medical director at CREATE Fertility, Nargund is familiar with the heartbreak women face. “A female foetus has 4-5million potential eggs; at birth that has gone down by half; at puberty it’s just a quarter of a million and by menopause there are only about 1,000 left.

“I see every day in my practice women who have no idea about these reductions. We need to raise that awareness so they can decide how to plan their fertility and their families. I’m not asking them to have children in their early twenties. When to have children is their decision, but we want to help them to protect their fertility.”

About Tone Jarvis-Mack 212 Articles
Publisher and writer for Fertility Road magazine I have spent the last 4 years writing about my experiences surrounding fertility.

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