The aim of this study was to investigate medical undergraduate students’ fertility awareness and parenthood intentions in three European countries, as well as possible differences across genders and countries.
Materials and methods
A cross sectional survey among 656 medical students in Sweden, Belgium and Greece. The utilised questionnaire comprised 23 questions.
Three fourth of participants (n = 472/629) correctly stated that women are most fertile at 20–25 years of age. Approximately 91% correctly answered that women’s fertility starts to significantly decline before the age of 35, which differed among countries of participation. Social oocyte or sperm freezing was considered by 67% of Belgians, 49% Greeks, and 16.5% Swedes (p < 0.001). Approximately 95% expressed a wish of having a child in the future and the median age was 29 years for the first and 35 years for the last child.
Knowledge about fertility among medical students was in general satisfactory, albeit varying by country and gender. Medical curricula and social policies for childbearing should be respectively updated in EU countries suffering population growth.