Author(s): Virtala A, Vilska S, Huttunen T, Kunttu K
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To describe Finnish university students' childbearing histories, desires concerning childbearing, and awareness regarding the impact of age on female fertility. METHODS: A national survey of Finnish university students in 2008. A questionnaire was sent to 9,967 Finnish undergraduate university students aged less than 35 years. Altogether, the questionnaire was answered by 1,864 men and 3,222 women. The overall response rate was 51\% (42\% for men and 59\% for women). Students were asked about their number of children, desired childbearing, and awareness of the effect of age on female fertility. RESULTS: Of the respondents, 8.25\% had children, and 94.0\% wanted to have children in the future. Female students were more aware of the impact of age on female fertility than were male students. Over half of the men and approximately one-third of the women thought that the marked decrease in female fertility begins after the age of 45 years. CONCLUSIONS: A vast majority of Finnish university students wanted to have children in the future. Their awareness of the natural, age-related decline in female fertility was insufficient. Sexual health education in schools and health care personnel's family planning counselling, for both men and women, should include information about the age-related drop in fertility.
This article was published in Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care
and referenced in Reproductive System & Sexual Disorders: Current Research