Taking fertility for granted–a qualitative exploration of fertility awareness among young, childless men in Denmark and Sweden

Gritt Marie Hviid Malling, Lone Schmidt, Tryfonas Pitsillos, Karin Hammarberg, Tanja Tydén, Britt Friberg, Inez Jensen, Søren Ziebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Most previous studies about fertility knowledge and attitudes among men have been based on quantitative methods using questionnaires with fixed-choice response options. The aims of this qualitative study were to explore childless young men’s reflections on fertility and infertility through semi-structured interviews. Danish (n = 17) and Swedish (n = 12) young childless men aged between 20 and 30 years in their last year of education were interviewed. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Few informants had considered their own fertility, and most were positive towards fertility treatment. The young men had inadequate knowledge about factors that can potentially impair male and female fertility. On average, the young men each mentioned three different factors they believed influence male and female fertility: (i) health behaviour; (ii) factors beyond personal control; and (iii) age. None mentioned sexual transmitted infections (STIs) but most appeared aware of the effect of increasing age on fertility. The results of this study highlight the need for educational strategies to improve young men’s knowledge about fertility and the factors that influence it, particularly about the potential adverse effect of STIs on fertility.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Fertility
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Fertility awareness
  • knowledge
  • men
  • qualitative study; Nordic Countries
  • risk factors

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