A cross-sectional study of fertile period awareness, knowledge, attitudes and practice in infertile couples seeking fertility assistance


  • Shilpa Pankaj Kshrisagar Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Smt Kashibai Navale Medical College and General Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Arti Sidharth Shirsath Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Smt Kashibai Navale Medical College and General Hospital, Pune, Maharashtra, India




Fertile period, Fertile window, Fertility-awareness, Infertility


Background: Infertility is one of the most distressful condition for a couple. Medical interventions may exacerbate anxiety, depression, stress, loss of self-esteem, guilt and grief in these couples. But many studies indicate that most cases of infertility can be attributed to a physiological cause in the man or woman. Previous research has suggested that poor fertility period awareness may be a contributing cause of infertility among couples seeking assistance at infertility clinics. The actual practices and attitudes towards fertility-awareness in this particular group of patients are unknown and need to be explored. The aim of the present study was to report the study of fertile period awareness and their knowledge, attitude and practice in the infertile couples seeking fertility assistance

Methods: This is a cross-sectional questionnaire-based study. The study was conducted over a period of 6 months from June to December 2017 in the couples attending the infertility clinic at Smt Kashibai Navale Medical College and General Hospital, Pune.

Results: Total 246 of 280 distributed questionnaires were completed (response rate =87.8%). Out of these 60% (n=147) believed they had timed intercourse within the fertile window of the menstrual cycle in their attempts at conception, but surprisingly only 36%(n=52) could accurately identify this window. In this study 23% (n=56) participants had already taken prior treatment but still 50% were ignorant about fertile window. It was shocking that among 246 only 15% (n=38) couples were actually practising fertile period due to some reasons and most of them did not know or rely upon the concept of fertile period. Almost 94% of them believed that they should receive fertility-awareness education when they first report trouble in conceiving to their doctor.

Conclusions: Most couples seeking assistance at infertility clinics were unaware of the fertile window of the menstrual cycle and only few could accurately identify this window, suggesting that poor fertility awareness may be a contributing cause of infertility.


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