Public Release:  Perceptions of conception

New survey shows women trying to get pregnant worry about fertility, a lot -- men, not so much, despite the fact that half of all fertility problems are due to the male, with low sperm count the main cause

Robin Leedy & Associates, Inc.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, March 8, 2012 -- For many women, the decision to get pregnant can take on a life of its own. In fact, according to a survey conducted for SpermCheck® Fertility, 42% of those who conceived say they became obsessed with getting pregnant once they started trying. Yet just 10% say their partner shared this obsession.

This year, approximately 7 million couples will experience conception issues and about 50% of these infertility problems will be directly attributed to the male, according to John C. Herr, Ph.D., director of the University of Virginia's Center for Research in Contraceptive and Reproductive Health; most male infertility problems are mainly due to low sperm count, he adds.

Yet women are typically the ones to take action when conception is slow to happen, often undergoing a battery of sometimes invasive and typically costly testing. While -- analyzing the male's sperm count is considered a key first step by infertility specialists -- -- less than one-fifth of men (17%) ever get tested for their sperm count, according to the SpermCheck survey. And just 23% of the women surveyed in the SpermCheck survey who are currently pregnant or who have conceived a child said their partner did everything he could to get himself as healthy as possible before they started trying to conceive.

According to Pamela Madsen, a nationally recognized fertility educator, advocate and founder of the American Fertility Association, "While there is absolutely nothing to be self-conscious about, many men are often reluctant or embarrassed to go to their healthcare provider to take a sperm count test, even if it means that their partner might take it upon herself to start having herself tested and in some cases begin taking fertility treatments. Now, with SpermCheck® Fertility, a new and easy, 10-minute, over-the-counter, FDA-approved, at-home sperm count screening test that men can take in the privacy of their home, they can find out if their sperm count is normal or low - and have an accurate answer, right then."

The SpermCheck survey found that 8 out of 10 women (83%) trying to or planning to conceive say their partner assumes he is fertile, and 43% say their partner would like to know for sure that his sperm count is normal. A much higher number, more than two thirds of women surveyed (67%) say they would like to know their partner's sperm count is normal when they start trying to get pregnant.

The following are highlights of this survey:

Fertility worries:

  • A little less than half (44%) of those trying/planning to conceive are worried that when they actually want to conceive, they won't be able to because they tried hard for years to avoid pregnancy.

  • More than half (59%) of those trying/planning to conceive say they won't tell people they are trying to get pregnant in case it doesn't happen.

  • Almost half (49%) of women who took longer than expected to conceive indicated their significant other was not eager to have his sperm count tested.

  • 23% of women who have conceived/trying to conceive would not seek advice or testing for their significant other if it was taking longer than expected to get pregnant.

  • More than a quarter (27%) of those trying/planning to conceive are embarrassed to discuss fertility with friends and family, and a similar number, 23%, say their partner is uncomfortable discussing male fertility issues.

Conception perceptions: How fertility and conceiving a child affect relationships: Perceptions before (trying/planning to get pregnant) and after having a child were quite different on this topic:

  • Spouse will be/is supportive
    --(Before) 90% (After)76%
  • Relationship will be/is stronger
    --(Before) 80% (After)64%
  • Partner knows how to support me
    --(Before) 74% (After)61%
  • Partner is excited to be pregnant
    --(Before) 92% (After)80%
  • Partner will leave if don't get pregnant
    --(Before) 11% (After) 4%

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Note: This survey was conducted in January 2012 for the maker of SpermCheck Fertility by Persuadable Research Corporation. The sample was randomly drawn from a national list of women 18-44 years of age who had a child within the last five years or was planning or trying to get pregnant; 300 interviews were conducted and participants were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with various statements. For more survey findings, go to www.Spermcheck.com. SpermCheck® Fertility can be purchased at www.cvs.com or www.walgreens.com.

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