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Reasoning about timing of wanting a child: A qualitative study of Nordic couples from fertility clinics

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Objective: To explore the reasoning of Nordic couples recruited through fertility clinics in deciding ‘the right time’ to attempt conception and whether nationality impacts on this reasoning. Background: Although previous studies have explored the motivation for childbearing, few investigations have focused on how couples determine the ‘right time’ for parenting. Methods: A qualitative study, including 22 couples recruited from fertility clinics in the 5 Nordic countries. Results: Two main categories were identified: ‘prepared for parenthood’ with four subcategories – stable social conditions, stable relationships, appropriate age, mutual desire for children; and ‘decision-making catalysts’ with three subcategories – social balance, duty to family and fear of infertility. Conclusions: Preparation comes first and clears the way for influences from other factors, although fear of infertility caused couples to accelerate their decision-making processes. Nationality did not affect the categories, although this could be related to the fact that Nordic countries have similar social structures. Reasoning regarding ‘the right time’ depended on situation rather than nationality.
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Keywords: ART; Nordic countries; infertility; timing; wish for a child

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Nordic School of Public Health, Gothenburg, Sweden 2: Fertility Center Scandinavia, Gothenburg, Sweden

Publication date: November 1, 2011

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