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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Obstetrics - Public Health and Epidemiology - Urology - Women's Health

What Do You Know about Reproductive Medicine? – Results of a German Representative Survey
Published: Monday, December 03, 2012
Author: Yve Stoebel-Richter et al.

by Yve Stoebel-Richter, Kristina Geue, Ada Borkenhagen, Elmar Braehler, Kerstin Weidner

Objective

The use of reproductive medical treatments has become increasingly routine in recent years. This paper reports on a study of how different aspects of modern reproductive medicine are perceived by the German population.

Design

Findings from a nationally representative sample of 2110 men and women aged 18 to 50 are presented. Participants responded to a questionnaire seeking self-report information about attitudes and knowledge regarding different aspects of reproductive medicine.

Results

The majority of respondents had already heard or read something about reproductive medicine; knowledge gaps were prevalent in men and individuals with lower levels of education. The decrease in female fertility usually was underestimated, whereas both the number of involuntarily childless couples and the success rate of reproductive medical treatment were overestimated. One-third of participants would make use of reproductive medicine to have their own child.

Conclusion

This study revealed inadequacies in the knowledge of the German general population regarding reproductive medicine. Despite the low interest and poor knowledge of the topic, a broad acceptance of reproductive medical methods was reported. The results illustrate the need for adequate information transfer regarding female fertility as well as success rate and risks of reproductive medical interventions.

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