Create Health Foundation, a reproductive health charity which is funded and supported by CREATE Fertility, has launched a pioneering fertility education course in a South London school.
Students at St. Saviour’s & St. Olave’s School have completed a series of lessons designed and led by Professor Nargund, fertility expert and Medical Director of CREATE Fertility. The lessons were targeted at Year 10 students (aged 14-15) and covered a range of fertility topics, from the biology of human conception to reasons for fertility problems.
The debate over fertility education in schools is one that has divided opinion. Some commentators argue that the focus has to be on contraception and that women are too pressured to have children young, whilst others suggest that young people should be able to make informed decisions about their future in order to avoid the heartache of unexpected infertility.
Professor Nargund said:
“With around one in six couples having fertility problems, Britain’s already ageing population is now facing a fertility time bomb. Through my work I have witnessed all too often the shock and agony of families who realise that they have left it too late to start a family. Fertility education is key to ensuring people no longer have to live with this kind of regret and can make informed life choices through being empowered by knowledge.”
While the debate continues, the majority of young people receive no formal education about their own fertility and its decline over time. Recent research conducted by Infertility Network UK reveals that a large proportion of young people wish that they were better informed about fertility.
Infertility Network UK surveyed 346 young people between the ages of 16 and 25. Of these, 76% suggested that there was not enough information about the decline in fertility available, with only 4% saying that there was too much information on this topic. The survey also revealed that 98% of the respondents planned on having children some day. This figure is in contrast to the fact that around 1 in 5 women remain childless at the age of 45.
Both of these results together suggest that young people may not have the information that they need when it comes to understanding their fertility. There are many reasons that women do not have children, including not meeting the right partner, having to take care of elderly parents and focussing primarily on a career. However, in order for women to make informed decisions about their reproductive future, it is crucial that they have access to the right information when they need it, which is why fertility education remains at the heart of what we do at CREATE.