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The association between reproductive health smartphone applications and fertility knowledge of Australian women

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Background: Previous studies have identified that women living in developed countries have insufficient knowledge of factors which may be contributing to the increasingly high global infertility rates such as maternal age and assisted reproductive technologies. There is a large market of reproductive health smartphone applications, yet little is known about the advantages these apps may confer to users in regards to reproductive health knowledge. Methods: An anonymous, online survey of women living in Australia aged 18 and above was open March-June 2018, until ≥200 responses were acquired for statistical power. Respondents answered questions regarding knowledge about general fertility and related factors (age, cyclic fertility, smoking, obesity, miscarriage rate, and success of assisted reproductive technologies). Fertility knowledge was compared in respondents who did or did not use apps relating to female reproductive health. Additionally the functions preferred in reproductive health apps was described by app using respondents. Sociodemographic information was also collected, and relevant data within the dataset was subject to multivariable modelling for the outcome of the fertility knowledge questions. Results: Of the 673 respondents that completed the survey, 43.09% reported using mobile phone applications relating to female reproductive health. On average, respondents answered only three of the six fertility knowledge questions correctly. App using respondents were more likely to score better on one question, related to fertility during the menstrual cycle (p < 0.001). App users most commonly reported using the menstrual tracking function in apps (82.4%), which may account for the increased knowledge of cyclic fertility. Conclusions: This data provides preliminary evidence toward the usefulness of smartphone applications as a medium for providing information about fertility to women. A limited understanding of one's own fertility was demonstrated despite being essential for the decision-making of women throughout their reproductive years.

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Ford, E. A., Roman, S. D., McLaughlin, E. A., Beckett, E. L., & Sutherland, J. M. (2020). The association between reproductive health smartphone applications and fertility knowledge of Australian women. BMC Women's Health, 20(1). doi:10.1186/s12905-020-00912-y

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85081412803

Volume


  • 20

Issue


  • 1

Abstract


  • Background: Previous studies have identified that women living in developed countries have insufficient knowledge of factors which may be contributing to the increasingly high global infertility rates such as maternal age and assisted reproductive technologies. There is a large market of reproductive health smartphone applications, yet little is known about the advantages these apps may confer to users in regards to reproductive health knowledge. Methods: An anonymous, online survey of women living in Australia aged 18 and above was open March-June 2018, until ≥200 responses were acquired for statistical power. Respondents answered questions regarding knowledge about general fertility and related factors (age, cyclic fertility, smoking, obesity, miscarriage rate, and success of assisted reproductive technologies). Fertility knowledge was compared in respondents who did or did not use apps relating to female reproductive health. Additionally the functions preferred in reproductive health apps was described by app using respondents. Sociodemographic information was also collected, and relevant data within the dataset was subject to multivariable modelling for the outcome of the fertility knowledge questions. Results: Of the 673 respondents that completed the survey, 43.09% reported using mobile phone applications relating to female reproductive health. On average, respondents answered only three of the six fertility knowledge questions correctly. App using respondents were more likely to score better on one question, related to fertility during the menstrual cycle (p < 0.001). App users most commonly reported using the menstrual tracking function in apps (82.4%), which may account for the increased knowledge of cyclic fertility. Conclusions: This data provides preliminary evidence toward the usefulness of smartphone applications as a medium for providing information about fertility to women. A limited understanding of one's own fertility was demonstrated despite being essential for the decision-making of women throughout their reproductive years.

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Ford, E. A., Roman, S. D., McLaughlin, E. A., Beckett, E. L., & Sutherland, J. M. (2020). The association between reproductive health smartphone applications and fertility knowledge of Australian women. BMC Women's Health, 20(1). doi:10.1186/s12905-020-00912-y

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85081412803

Volume


  • 20

Issue


  • 1