University students’ awareness towards the preservation of fertility and the concept of pre-conceptive health and care

Maria Luisa Di Pietro, Chiara De Waure, Andrea Poscia, Adele Anna Teleman, Walter Ricciardi

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaContributo a convegnopeer review


Several studies have shown the positive effects of the preservation of fertility and the early pre-conceptive care on both pregnancies and newborns, even though it is difficult to define when is the right time to start. This study analyses the awareness of Italian University students towards infertility/subfertility and vaccine-preventable diseases, two of the 13 domains recommended in this field by the WHO. This study was based on a validated 93 item questionnaire, adapted from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study and handed out between May 2012 and 2013 to 12.000 Italian University students. It was anonymous and self-administered. At the end of the study, 8735 questionnaires were fully completed and analysed (RR=73%). For this study we focused on 23 questions concerning the immunization status (Rubella and Mumps) and the prevalence of behaviours that could damage future fertility. Descriptive statistic, CHI2 test and logistic regression were used (p<0.05). Of 5658 females, 39% didn't know if they were vaccinated for/have already contracted Rubella and 9.9% were surely unprotected towards it. Of 2802 males, 56% didn't know if they were vaccinated/have already contracted Mumps while 35% had already contracted it. 428 males had had orchitis, varicoceles or cryptorchidism. 1627 females had never been visited by a gynaecologist, of which 98 were older than 25 and sexually active and 105 had started using a contraceptive pill between 14 and 19 years. 26,3% was not sexually active. Of the population that declared to be sexually active (75.6%), and that therefore is already at risk for STD, 34% did not use any other form of prevention.STD prevalence was 1.62%, significantly higher in the casual sex and younger age at first sexual intercourse categories. This study highlights a lack of awareness towards the preservation of fertility and for maternal and newborn care, in case of pregnancy. For these reasons, essential health interventions should be provided to young adults as soon as possible. High schools and Universities should increase the awareness towards the preservation of male and female fertility, and the concept of pre-conceptive health and care in order to reduce maternal and childhood mortality/morbidity.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)N/A-N/A
RivistaEuropean Journal of Public Health
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2014
Evento7th European Public Health Conference Mind the gap: Reducing inequalities in health and health care - Glasgow
Durata: 19 nov 201422 nov 2014


  • University Students
  • preconceptive health
  • preservation of fertility


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