Fertility Education for Young People – Let’s get it on the curriculum.
It seems that every few weeks another big fertility story is hitting the media. This last week it was again in relation to (the much sensationalised headlines) why you should have a baby before 30. Like Kirsty Allsopp before her, Professor Geeta Nargund bravely put her head above the parapet to highlight this issue.
As expected Prof. Nargund was met with a media backlash and accused of scaremongering and this I saw first hand in the disgruntled posts on the subject in my Facebook Fertility Support Group. However, once again the media has done a sterling job in producing over sensationalised headlines, which misguided readers in to totally missing the point.
Prof. Nargund is campaigning for fertility education for young people. It’s no secret that infertility rates in the UK are on the rise and to help stop this steep ascent, young people need access to early fertility education.
I support Prof. Nargund in her crusade to get fertility education on the curriculum in schools. Sex and relationship education is always a contentious issue. Parents are very often reluctant for their children to receive this knowledge, concerned that talking about sex will encourage their child to have sex. In the Netherlands, the Dutch are very open in talking about sex with young people and as a result they have the lowest teenage pregnancy rate in Europe. In the UK – we have the highest. In recent years we have been successful in reducing teenage pregnancies, due to our increased efforts in talking to young people. Given the chance, we can do the same with infertility.
For many years, I have had the pleasure of talking about sex and relationships to young people in schools. I would dearly love the opportunity to add fertility to my discussions. I would tell a young woman that if she binge drinks regularly in her 20’s she may increase the likelihood to developing Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or that if she smokes that she serves to age her ovaries. If she makes the choice to have numerous sexual partners she runs the risk of contracting the prevalent sexually transmitted infection Chlamydia, that can silently destroy her fertility.
I too, am campaigning to get fertility on the curriculum and have made my intentions known to the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. It will be a long campaign against voices that accuse us of scaremongering, but if the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about fertility just prevented one woman’s life from crashing down around her, then it would all be worth it.
If you too would like to support this campaign, please follow me on Twitter and retweet my tweets on the subject.
Thank you for helping us reduce the pain caused by infertility.