Conceiving of change: a brief intervention increases young adults' knowledge of fertility and the effectiveness of in vitro fertilization

Fertil Steril. 2013 Aug;100(2):523-9. doi: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2013.03.050. Epub 2013 Apr 28.


Objective: To examine the effectiveness of an educational intervention in increasing knowledge of fertility and the effectiveness of IVF among university students in Australia.

Design: Two-group, pretest-posttest design.

Setting: A large metropolitan university in Queensland, Australia.

Patient(s): One hundred thirty-seven male and female undergraduate students.

Intervention(s): Online information brochure on fertility (intervention group), or an online information brochure on home ownership (control group).

Main outcome measure(s): Knowledge of fertility, knowledge of IVF effectiveness, and desired age at commencement and completion of childbearing, assessed immediately before and after exposure to the brochure.

Result(s): Exposure to the brochure resulted in significant increases in knowledge of fertility and knowledge of IVF effectiveness in the intervention group and significant decreases in desired age at commencement and completion of childbearing. No changes were observed in the control group.

Conclusion(s): Educational intervention is a worthwhile endeavor that can increase knowledge of fertility and IVF effectiveness in the short-term. Further research is needed to evaluate whether increased knowledge persists and affects intentions in the longer-term. Because the determinants of timing of childbearing are highly multifactorial, fertility education should be paired with policies and practices that support men and women to make informed decisions about the timing of childbearing.

Keywords: Fertility awareness; IVF; delayed childbearing; education; intervention.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Awareness / physiology
  • Female
  • Fertility / physiology*
  • Fertilization in Vitro* / methods
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion* / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Online Systems
  • Pamphlets
  • Reproductive Medicine / education*
  • Reproductive Medicine / statistics & numerical data
  • Students
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult