Women are often in the dark when it comes to basic facts about sex, fertility, pregnancy and their own reproductive health, according to a US study Monday.
The research was conducted by Yale University via an online survey of 1,000 women aged 18-40 from across the United States.
Just one in 10 women knew that sex was required before ovulation, not after, in order to optimize the chances of pregnancy, said the findings in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
More than one third thought that certain sex positions, like raising one's hips, could increase the chance of pregnancy.
About 40 percent thought their ovaries were continually producing new eggs.
"This misperception is of particular concern, especially so in a society where women are increasingly delaying pregnancy," said co-author Lubna Pal, associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at Yale.
About half of women had never discussed their reproductive health with a doctor, said the survey.
Some 30 percent said they either never went for a women's health check-up or did so less than once a year.
When it came to health during pregnancy, half were unaware that multivitamins with folic acid are recommended to prevent birth defects.
One fifth did not know that advancing age could cause higher rates of miscarriage, infertility and fetal abnormalities.
"This study, on one hand, brings to the forefront gaps in women's knowledge about their reproductive health, and on the other, highlights women's concerns that are often not discussed with health providers," said senior author Jessica Illuzzi, also an associate professor at Yale.
"It is important that these conversations happen in this ever-changing family landscape."