The aim of this study is to determine Australians' understanding of the decline in fertility with age, social determinants that influence their decision to start a family and attitudes towards ovarian reserve screening as a tool allowing personalised reproductive life planning. An online survey of 383 childless Australian men and women, aged 18-45 years, was conducted. Both sexes overestimated natural and in vitro fertilization (IVF)-assisted fertility potential with increasing age, with the magnitude of overestimation being more pronounced for men and IVF treatment compared with natural conception. The primary determinants for starting a family were a stable relationship, followed by establishment of career availability of accessible child care and paid parental leave were considered less important. Finally, the majority of women (74%) would alter their reproductive life planning if they were identified as having low ovarian reserve on screening. Despite increased education, Australians continue to have a poor understanding of age-related decline in natural and IVF-assisted conception, potentially explaining why many delay starting a family. Ovarian reserve screening may help identify individuals at increased risk of premature diminished fertility, giving these women the ability to bring forward their plans for natural conception or undertake fertility preservation (oocyte freezing).
- Anti-Müllerian hormone
- family planning