The pros and cons of fertility awareness and information: a generational, Swedish perspective

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Being aware of factors that affect fertility can help people make informed decisions about their reproductive futures. To some, however, fertility information leads to worry and self-blame. In this paper, we explore how people from different generations discuss fertility and reproductive decision-making, along with their perceptions of fertility information. The study was conducted in southern Sweden with 26 focus-group discussions that included a total of 110 participants aged 17-90 years. The material was analysed thematically. Our results show that fertility knowledge and openness to talking about fertility problems have increased over generations. Participants who were assigned female at birth were more often concerned about their fertility than those who were not, and fertility concerns were transferred from mothers to daughters. While age-related fertility concerns had been uncommon in older generations, participants aged 25-40 often expressed these concerns. Young adults appreciated being knowledgeable about fertility but simultaneously expressed how fertility information could lead to distress. Our conclusion is that fertility information was best received by high-school students, and efforts to improve fertility education in schools are therefore recommended.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Fertility
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)216–225
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • Fertility awareness, reproductive decision-making, generations, focus group discussions, KNOWLEDGE, INTERVENTION, INFERTILITY

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