A leading doctor advised that girls as young as age 9 should be given fertility lessons. In particular, they should be given tips on how to successfully conceive later in life.
According to British Fertility Society (BFS) chairman, Professor Adam Balen, schools need to have an early start in promoting messages to children on how to maximize their chances of creating their own family in the future.
Balen said that a great number of young girls are not aware of the elements that could be affecting their fertility in later life. They are also ignorant of the risks that come from turning away from these factors way too late.
"The messages have to be upbeat - we should be starting this, pre-puberty around the age of nine or 10," said Balen, adding that this age is when they are old enough to understand the issues surrounding fertility.
Among the key factors needed in the early conversation are the importance of a healthy diet as well as body weight, sufficient exercise and quitting the cigarette habit.
Balen added that adding fertility lessons in the national curriculum should not "dilute the message" that teenage girls should avoid sexually transmitted disease and early pregnancy.
The goal is to balance these messages by encouraging school-age girls to prepare for their futures. Balen, who is also Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust's consultant gynecologist, said that there is a need to get the message across not just early but also consistently, in order to set the right habits early on.
Balen expressed that the habits formed during puberty have lifelong effects. Bad habits could damage their chances of conceiving in the future, adding that many teenage girls are not having enough exercise.
Balen said that fertility lessons for future family plans should be part of everyday schooling. This means it should become a routine aspect of sex and relationships education.
An earlier survey by the British Fertility Society found that four in five young people aged 16 to 24 incorrectly believed that female fertility only begins to wane at the age of 35. As a response, the group is creating a "teaching pack" that will be distributed to all professionals who teach sex education or science in schools.
This teaching pack will include advice to teachers on how to discuss not just biology or the influences that could affect fertility but also the changes that happened to the body from puberty all the way to menopause.