FIRST RESPONSE™ Unveils New Research about Women's Reproductive Health Awareness

Survey of 1,000 women shows that only half discuss reproductive health with their doctors

Jan 27, 2014, 09:00 ET from FIRST RESPONSE

EWING, N.J., Jan. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Released today by Fertility and Sterility, a new study conducted by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine and supported by an unrestricted educational grant by the makers of First Response in-home diagnostic tests and the leader in pregnancy, ovulation and fertility tests, unveils new insights about the reproductive knowledge amongst women ages 18-40 in the United States.  

In the survey of 1,000 women, results showed that only 50% have ever discussed their reproductive health with their medical provider, underscoring a need for increased dialogue between women and healthcare professionals. Furthermore, one-third of respondents admitted to visiting their reproductive health provider less than once a year or never. The research also revealed common misconceptions that women hold about ovulation, conception and factors that impact their fertility.

"This study, on one hand, brings to the forefront gaps in women's knowledge about their reproductive health, and on the other, highlights women's true concerns which are often not discussed with their health providers," said Dr. Jessica Illuzzi, Associate Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at Yale School of Medicine. "It is important that these conversations happen in this ever-changing family landscape."

Major Findings:

  • 40% of women across all age groups expressed concern about their ability to conceive
  • Half of women did not know that multivitamins with folic acid are recommended to reproductive age women to prevent birth defects
  • Over one-quarter were unaware of the adverse implications of sexually transmitted infections, obesity, smoking or irregular menses on fertility
  • One fifth were unaware of the effects of aging on reproductive success, including increased miscarriage rates, chromosomal abnormalities, and increased length of time to achieve conception

Misconceptions: Among the falsely-conceived notions about getting pregnant, half of the respondents believed that having sex more than once per day would increase their chances of conception, while separately, more than one-third believed that specific sexual positions and elevating the pelvis would similarly increase their success. Regarding ovulation, only 10% of women seemed to be aware that intercourse needs to occur before ovulation, rather than after ovulation.

Engagement: When asked to identify the top sources of reproductive health-related information, respondents in all age groups chose women's health care providers (75%) and websites (40%) as their top sources.

"We're excited to partner with researchers at Yale School of Medicine to take a deep look at the anxiety that women experience," said Stacey Feldman, Vice President of Marketing, Church & Dwight. "As the leading brand of pregnancy tests, we are providing both the knowledge and tools to help women with their family planning needs." 

In addition to the findings in the published article for Fertility and Sterility, First Response also investigated the social and societal factors that respondents say influenced their family planning decisions.

Concerns: When it comes to the factors that keep women from trying to get pregnant, 38% cited the state of the economy, while 25% noted the balance of work and parenting as factors in their decision.

Privacy: Generally, 39% of respondents said that trying to get pregnant is a private issue and is hard to talk about. The research also revealed that women who have been pregnant waited an average of 7 weeks before telling others about their pregnancy, around the time a fetal heartbeat has developed.

About the survey
The survey was conducted in March 2013 using 1,000 females age 18-40. The samples were constructed using quotas for demographic characteristics including US geographical region and ethnicity. The sample is generally representative of the US population of women in the reproductive age group by racial and ethnic distributions, and regional representation matches the US census for this age group by design. The survey included questions to assess knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices regarding conception, pregnancy and reproductive health. 

About FIRST RESPONSE™ Products
For over 25 years, the makers of FIRST RESPONSE™ have been a pioneer in women's health with a portfolio of innovative pregnancy and ovulation at-home test kits.  FIRST RESPONSE™ Early Result Pregnancy Test can be used earlier than any other test on the market to detect the pregnancy hormone hCG.  To help women get pregnant sooner* there is the FIRST RESPONSE™  Daily Digital Easy-Read Ovulation Test to determine their most important fertile days by detecting their LH surge.

*Based on directions for use

About Church and Dwight, Co., Inc.
Church and Dwight, Co., Inc., headquartered in Ewing, NJ, manufactures and markets a wide range of personal care, household and specialty products under the ARM & HAMMER brand name and other well-known trademarks.