About the project

About the project​

PRECONCEPTION HEALTH OF YOUTH, bridging the gap in and through education (acronym PreconNet), is a Erasmus+ KA2 (Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices) project, which will mostly impact the field of Strategic Partnerships for higher education. The project started on the 1.9.2018 and it will end on the 31.8.2021.

The base of this project lies in a well-recognised challenge: The number of births in Europe has decreased alarmingly during last 10 years and the first child is born postponed to aged parents. The biology of fertility cannot adapt to this social trend and phenomena. The ageing of women connected with current male sperm quality crash is concerning everyone everywhere and actions need to be taken. There is a need for accurate situation assessment regarding sexual and reproductive health in each partner country. It is time to raise the level of fertility awareness throughout Europe. Implications of the project, however will be also for other European and non-European countries.

According to the current studies recommendations for healthy women and men were fragmented and inconsistent. Also, the current guidelines are noticed to be heterogeneous. Collaborative research across Europe is required in order to develop evidence-based guidelines for preconception health and care and to the education of health professionals.

One reason for the decrease in natural fertility is the lack of knowledge of fertility multiple risk factors and currently confusing and controversial data provided by media. According to the current studies women and men like to seek information for themselves and a variety of electronic information was available in all six countries including mobile applications (apps) enabling easy access to preconception information to promote healthy lifestyle change. There is a concern that websites are produced by many differing bodies and are not always reliable. We suggest the development of cohesive government preconception websites across Europe presenting clear evidence-based guidance.

In addition, no professionals have taken responsibility for providing proper information, guiding and education to these young adults. Preconception health and care is absent or not sufficiently covered in European curricula for health professionals.

A serious problem that causes lower rates of birth rates across Europe is delayed parenthood. If the decision for a child is postponed after the optimal fertility age, it becomes crucial to maintain reproductive health during that period. Development of evidence-based knowledge in this field is speedy but uncharted and unimplemented into basic education of health practitioners and therefore fails to go into practise; clients are not offered needed advice.

Parenthood in the optimal fertility age reduces or prevents the use of reproductive-medical techniques or surrogacy. Women do not have to face serious health risks to get pregnant. In this context, it should be noted that the prenatal mental development of the child from conception to birth cannot be disregarded.

This project will bridge these existing gaps. Developing the education of Health care professionals by implementing Preconception Health issues to curricula, it will encourage preconception health promotion guidance of youth. Primary beneficiaries are participating educators and the students. But the innovations of the project will also benefit all health care professionals, parents, youth, children and the yet unborn. Long term implications of the project can be expected also for the future generations of young European people.

In the field of preconception health and care education we’ll meet the same challenges and also a wide diversity in different countries. Sharing and learning from others will develop common knowledge and it gives the possibility to new openings and solutions. This project will create an open access forum “a community of best practices”. Innovations will be disseminated by participants and their contacts throughout Europe.


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