Status one year after fertility assessment and counselling in women of reproductive age—a qualitative study

  • Randi Sylvest Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fertility Clinic, Hvidovre Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Hvidovre, Denmark
  • Emily Koert Fertility Clinic, University Hospital Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Ida Vittrup Fertility Clinic, University Hospital Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Kathrine Birch Petersen Fertility Clinic, University Hospital of Zealand, Køge, Denmark
  • Anders Nyboe Andersen Fertility Clinic, University Hospital Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Anja Pinborg Fertility Clinic, University Hospital Copenhagen, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Lone Schmidt Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
Keywords: Childbearing, fertility, fertility assessment and counselling, postponing childbearing, qualitative interviews, women

Abstract

Introduction: Over the past 50 years women and men have postponed family formation in high-income societies. Fertility assessment and counselling has been suggested as a method to reduce delayed childbearing and its consequences. This study explored women’s perceptions of how attending a fertility assessment intervention influenced their decisions and choices regarding family formation and childbearing.

Material and methods: Follow-up data from a longitudinal semi-structured qualitative interview study including 20 women aged 35–40 years seeking individual fertility counselling at the Fertility Assessment and Counselling Clinic at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark. The interviews were conducted one year after their consultation. Data were analysed by qualitative content analysis.

Results: The women perceived an increase in their knowledge after they had attended the counselling. The women saw the counselling as a catalyst for change—they changed their behaviour and relationship status. The women stopped thinking about the pros and cons of childbearing and acted instead. The women did not experience any regrets about acting. Some of the women felt that they were still in limbo as they were still in doubt concerning childbearing. The consultation had not given them an answer with a clear deadline in terms of delaying attempts to become pregnant, and this frustrated them.

Conclusions: Our study highlights the impact of a fertility assessment and counselling intervention which included a perceived increase in knowledge. The clinic allows for an individualized approach to fertility awareness which is necessary given the unique nature of childbearing decisions.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.
Published
2018-12-12
How to Cite
Sylvest, R., Koert, E., Vittrup, I., Birch Petersen, K., Nyboe Andersen, A., Pinborg, A., & Schmidt, L. (2018). Status one year after fertility assessment and counselling in women of reproductive age—a qualitative study. Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, 123(4), 264–270. https://doi.org/10.1080/03009734.2018.1546243
Section
Original Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)