Should children be taught how and when to get pregnant?

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Too many schoolgirls think conception is easy and should be taught the best way to get pregnant, according to doctors.

The Fertility Education Initiative says children need to understand the limits of IVF and learn about fertility from puberty to menopause.

A fertility arts education project called 'Modern Families' wants fertility issues discussed in every school when sex education becomes compulsory next year.

  • The average age for a woman in the UK to have a child is 30

  • That's up from age 26 in 1976

  • The optimum age for women to have children is believed to be between 20 and 35

The Fertility Education Initiative aims to ensure that men and women understand the limits of their fertility and what assisted reproductive technologies can offer. We are starting this important work in schools, but need to ensure that everyone understands fertility so they can make informed choices.

Professor Joyce Harper, Institute for Women's Health, Fertility Education Initiative

Doctors say too many people believe they will can conceive anytime they like even though official figures show one in seven couples struggle to have a child.

Young people need and deserve a more rounded and robust fertility education so that they have the best chance of creating the families they want in the future - with or without children and with or without reproductive science. The mental health impacts of involuntary childlessness are enormous and whilst reproductive science is incredible it is not a 'magic bullet'. But very importantly, this is NOT a pro-life project. It is a pro-choice project. Education is power. And when young people understand the facts, it is of course up to them what they do with them. But at the moment we are failing young people because we're not teaching them the facts about fertility.

Jessica Hepburn, co-founder of Fertility Fest