209020 Identifying the Peak Day of Fertility

Monday, November 9, 2009

Karen Schliep, MSPH , Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, Division of Public Health, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Christina Porucznik, PhD, MSPH , Division of Public Health, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Joseph B. Stanford, MD, MSPH , Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT
Epidemiologic evidence indicates that in-utero exposures to environmental chemicals may have both short- and long-term health effects. In order to properly assess exposures, the estimated day of ovulation (EDO) must be identified prospectively so that targeted exposure assessment during relevant developmental windows can occur. One method of identifying the EDO is to monitor changes in basal body temperature (BBT) and cervical mucus secretions. While other methods exist, their daily use is costly. The aims of this ongoing study are to 1) determine the feasibility of teaching women to identify their EDO without practitioner guidance and 2) compare the acceptability and actual use of monitoring cervical secretions alone, or in complement with recording BBT. One hundred women ages 18-44 who are not yet pregnant but are planning pregnancy are being recruited using population-based procedures similar to the National Children's Study, but in different neighborhood segments. Women who consent to participate are mailed six fertility charts, six 1-page monthly exposure questionnaires and a 3-page educational brochure. An online questionnaire that ascertains demographics and key environmental exposures (past and present) is administered at enrollment. Recruitment began in November 2008, 16 participants are currently enrolled (of 41 total inquiries). Statistical analyses are pending the recruitment of more participants and the receipt of monthly fertility charts. However, preliminary results indicate that women can properly identify their EDO using this method, given that 25% of our enrollees became pregnant after joining the study and beginning to monitor their fertility signs.

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate whether women can adequately predict their day of ovulation using streamlined fertility awareness methods. Discuss benefits of using system biomarkers (to detect EDO) for targeting environmental exposure assessment during relevant developmental windows can occur

Keywords: Reproductive Health, Environmental Exposures

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a doctoral student in public health at the University of Utah, specializing in Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.