Women's awareness and perceptions of delay in childbearing

Abha Maheshwari, Maureen Porter, Ashalata Shetty, Siladitya Bhattacharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

135 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To explore women's awareness of issues associated with delayed childbearing, including its social and medical implications and the limitations of available treatment.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting: University-based tertiary care clinics.

Patient(s): Three hundred sixty-two women attending a subfertility clinic and 362 pregnant women.

Intervention(s): A precoded questionnaire.

Main Outcome Measure(s): Awareness and perceptions of issues surrounding delay in childbearing.

Result(s): Subfertile women were, on average, 3.3 years older (95% confidence interval 2.5-4.1) and more likely to have tried for their first pregnancy after the age of 30 years (37.3% vs. 24.6%). Despite awareness of the impact of age on fertility, 85% of the subfertile group expected IVF to overcome the effects of age compared with 77% of the pregnant population. Knowledge about age-related obstetric risks, such as trisomy 21, was similar in both groups (86.3% vs. 85%). Almost all participants (94.5%) believed that women should be informed about the implications of delaying childbearing at an early age.

Conclusion(s): Women are largely aware of the risks and complications of delaying childbirth, but erroneously believe that IVF can reverse the effects of age. There is a need to provide accurate information in the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1036-1042
Number of pages7
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number4
Early online date1 Oct 2007
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • perceptions
  • delayed childbearing
  • age
  • subfertility
  • awareness
  • midtrimester termination
  • infertility
  • fertility
  • technology
  • pregnancy


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