Fertility awareness and subclinical infertility among women trying to get pregnant at home

BMC Womens Health. 2022 Feb 20;22(1):43. doi: 10.1186/s12905-022-01626-z.


Background: Recent studies on fertility awareness among the reproductive population have reported the lack of accurate knowledge about fertility and assisted reproductive technologies. However, there has been little information regarding women trying to get pregnant at home. The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence of subclinical infertility among women trying to get pregnant at home, and to evaluate awareness regarding infertility and reasons for not visiting infertility clinics among women who use pregnancy-assist mobile applications to help them conceive.

Methods: A total of 2084 Japanese women responded to this online survey. We selected 1541 women according to the study criteria. Based on the results of 61 questions, we evaluated knowledge regarding fertility, prevalence of subclinical infertility, and reasons for not visiting the clinic among the participants.

Results: Despite the desire to conceive, the participants had an apparent tendency to overestimate the age limit for childbearing. A total of 338 (21.9%) women answered that in general women aged > 45 years could get pregnant. Approximately 40% of the women had possible subclinical infertility and were unaware of the fact. Additionally, about 70% of the women considered themselves to have infertility problems. Women who were aware of the possibility of infertility hesitated to visit the clinic due to unfamiliarity with a gynecologist or clinic, and apprehensions about the gynecologic examination.

Conclusions: In our study, some women required treatment for infertility. Nonetheless, they hesitated to visit an infertility clinic. Sexual health education, together with proper accessibility to gynecology clinics, are necessary to reduce involuntary childlessness.

Keywords: Education; Fertility knowledge; Involuntary childlessness; Japanese; Subclinical infertility.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Humans
  • Infertility*
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive Techniques, Assisted
  • Surveys and Questionnaires