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Study Suggests Women Are Confused About This Whole 'Pregnancy' Thing...

Study underscores women's confusion over pregnancy basics
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

A new survey suggests that women are a bit fuzzy on the details when it comes to issues surrounding fertility and conception. (Two things that are kind of a big deal for us.)

Dr. Lubna Pal, one of the study's researchers, and an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the Yale School of Medicine, spoke to The Huffington Post about the findings this week. "It was surprising to me that between 40 and 60 percent of [respondents] had complete misconceptions about basic concepts relating to their own biology," she said.

And if you're thinking that she must mean we just don't get all the clinical, science-y stuff relating to our own reproductive cycle, think again. "We're not talking about heavy science; we're talking about basics," Dr. Pal said.

Clearly, that doesn't bode too well for us.

According to Pal, the survey's findings highlight even more the need to educate women on such issues at all levels.

One of the biggest areas of reproduction we seem to be confused about is ovulation. While 95 percent of respondents did correctly answer that ovulation is when the egg gets released from the ovary, a significant 25 percent did not. In fact, that 25 percent didn't know that "normal" menstrual cycles can take anywhere from 25 to 35 days, and 40 percent didn't know when exactly ovulation strikes during that cycle. Another 40 percent thought that the female body continues to make more eggs over the course of their "fertile" years; unfortunately, it does not.

Another gray area? We seem to be unsure about best practices when it comes to the factors that affect conception. Many women in the study were actually unaware that obesity and irregular periods can negatively impact fertility chances, while others were under the misconception that having a lot of sex (specifically, more than once a day) will boost your chances of getting pregnant.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, another truth the survey turned up was that a high number of us seem to worry about not being able to get pregnant—even when we are not actively trying to get pregnant.

The full study findings were released Monday in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

Feeling a bit rusty on fertility facts, yourself? We've got 10 conception misconceptions you may want to read up on.

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