Reproductive Life Planning: A Cross-Sectional Study of What College Students Know and Believe

Lisa N. Kransdorf, T. S. Raghu, Juliana M. Kling, Paru S. David, Suneela Vegunta, Jo Knatz, Allan Markus, Keith A. Frey, Yu Hui H. Chang, Anita P. Mayer, Julia A. Files

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a reproductive life plan (RLP) to promote individual responsibility for preconception health. The objectives of this study were to determine existing awareness of RLPs in a cohort of reproductive-age adults and to evaluate their knowledge level and beliefs about reproductive life planning. Methods We performed a cross-sectional survey study of adults ages 18–40 years old seeking care at the student health center of a large public university. Participation was voluntary. Survey responses were analyzed by age and gender. Results A total of 559 surveys were collected and analyzed. Only 24 % of participants had heard of an RLP although a majority (62.9 %) agreed that it is important to develop an RLP. Most respondents (85.4 %) preferred to receive information about reproductive life planning from a primary care provider or obstetrician-gynecologist, while only 4.2 % of patients surveyed reported ever being actually asked about an RLP by their healthcare provider. Among those who agreed that an RLP was important, knowledge of specific aspects of an RLP was lacking. Conclusions In our cohort of reproductive-age adults, general health literacy regarding RLPs was poor. Most of the young adults who responded to our survey did not know what an RLP was and even fewer had ever discussed one with their health provider.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1161-1169
Number of pages9
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Family planning
  • Preconception care
  • Reproductive health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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