Active learning about fertility.
June 13, 2018 10:04 AM   Subscribe

I coordinate the labs for Anatomy and Physiology I & II at a community college. Our reproductive lab includes information about the uterine and ovarian cycles but it does not go into fertility at all and I would like to change that. Are there active learning activities that would help our students understand fertility that is appropriate for the college level? Most of what I see are for 6th-12th grade.
posted by a22lamia to Education (11 answers total)
Human fertility? For female fertility, Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler is excellent. Although not a textbook, I think it is appropriate for college level. Not all chapters would be useful for a class, but you could just assign the ones that seem pertinent.
posted by Kriesa at 10:14 AM on June 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh, wait, sorry. You said activities. Um. The female students could chart their cycles based on the book, I guess. I'm not sure what the male students would do.
posted by Kriesa at 10:17 AM on June 13, 2018

I found this case study activity that looks like it might be promising. Wonky website though.
posted by chatongriffes at 10:43 AM on June 13, 2018

Charting my fertility as an academic assignment feels like it’s veering pretty hard into “private medical information I’d rather not disclose just because my grade depends on it” territory.
posted by mollymayhem at 10:58 AM on June 13, 2018 [24 favorites]

Possibly a paper lab activity, where you'd give students temperature data for a period, and have them figure out the stages of the cycle from that, rather than asking the students to measure their own temps?
posted by LizardBreath at 11:08 AM on June 13, 2018 [3 favorites]

Briefly chiming in - this has to be something that can be done in an hour or so and cannot use student data. Chatongriffes I cannot access that file - any ideas why not?
posted by a22lamia at 11:16 AM on June 13, 2018

a22lamia -- it looks like you have to create an account on PDF Filler in order to view that file.
posted by virago at 11:36 AM on June 13, 2018

Charting my fertility as an academic assignment feels like it’s veering pretty hard into “private medical information I’d rather not disclose just because my grade depends on it” territory.

You are right, it was a terrible suggestion.
posted by Kriesa at 11:41 AM on June 13, 2018 [2 favorites]

You could do a board game activity where students have some chart data (made up and a few versions so the 'right' answer isn't the same per group). The board could have 28 squares for the cycle and they roll to represent sex. There might be some difficulty making sure they land near ovulation each game/round. If they do land on an ovulation day (based on the chart data, they'd have to figure out which those were) they'd role a die to see if fertilization happened (because it's a 1/5 chance if sex during ovulation goes into fertilization) so a 6 sided die seems close enough.

Also!! After that they start pulling cards to see what symptoms they have and have to guess if it's PMS or early pregnancy. So, maybe the die roll is kept secret from the team as they're going back towards the start of the next period.
posted by toomanycurls at 3:22 PM on June 13, 2018 [1 favorite]

Please teach them about male fertility/infertility as well. It may not be as easy to chart as female reproduction, but 7-10% of men are infertile, and that percentage is apparently rising. There's a strong cultural emphasis on female reproductive health (both in the "if you get accidentally pregnant it's your fault" and in the "if you can't get pregnant when you want to it's also your fault") but no one ever talks about male factor. At the very least, teach them the sperm cycle to go along with the menstrual cycle. (Both men and women should understand why vasectomy is not a one-and-done procedure!)
posted by basalganglia at 3:52 PM on June 13, 2018 [4 favorites]

Could also pull in ovulation predictor kits, and discussion that it's the day prior and day of ovulation when one is most fertile, which is why the LH surge is so much more helpful to track that BBTs. (Although I do love me some Toni Weschler!)
posted by eglenner at 4:13 AM on June 14, 2018

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