By Karen Malone Wright
Passover and Easter are two of Spring’s big days, observed in one way or another from coast to coast. There’s lesser observances that are pretty popular, too. But, I’m guessing you know more about Earth Day and even April Fool’s Day than you do about National Infertility Awareness Week which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2014. April 20-26, 2014, to be exact. From at-home testing for pregnancy and ovulation to choosing the Internet as a preferred resource for medical information, those 25 years have seen big changes in how women assess their reproductive health.
National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) was started in 1989 by RESOLVE, the non-profit, national infertility association. It became a federally recognized health observance by the Department of Health and Human Services in 2010. Awareness-building activities aren’t limited to infertility; the bigger goal is to “encourage the public to understand their reproductive health”. I’m all for that. It’s obvious that too many sexually active Americans of all ages only know that Part B goes in and out of Part A, and sometimes you get a baby and sometimes you get HIV.
If it’s a baby you want, you need to know a whole lot more. A new national study published in the medical journal Fertility & Sterility reveals that American women of reproductive-age are generally confused about how their lady parts work. Forty percent were concerned about their ability to get pregnant, but one-third didn’t understand the adverse effects of obesity on infertility and another 40% weren’t familiar with the ovulatory cycle at all. Proving the point, Fertility Centers of Illinois chose NIAW to share the seven misperceptions they hear most often from women, and the facts. How many of these statements did you already know to be untrue?