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Reflections on fertility and postponed parenthood-interviews with highly educated women and men without children in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Caring Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, ISSN 0300-9734, E-ISSN 2000-1967, Vol. 118, no 2, 122-129 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background. Different reasons influence the current low birth-rate and the postponement of the birth of the first child throughout Europe. The aim of this study was to explore how highly educated women and men in Sweden reflect on fertility and postponed parenthood. Methods. We interviewed women (n = 22) and men (n = 18) who had started their professional careers and still had no children. Data were analysed with qualitative content analysis. Results. Fertility was perceived as an unconsidered capacity, sometimes unpredictable, and different for women and men, but nevertheless taken for granted. The participants were of the opinion that fertility could be restored by assisted reproductive technologies or replaced by alternatives to a biological child. Postponed parenthood was described as an adaptation to societal changes and current discourses about parenthood as well as a consequence of a contemporary lifestyle with many competing priorities. Conclusion. Highly educated young women and men in contemporary Sweden have competing priorities when planning and setting goals for their lives, and having children is one of them. They describe fertility as an imperceptible and retrievable capacity and postponed parenthood as a rational adaptation to changes in society. These findings suggest that increased information about the limitations of human reproduction is needed, but also that societal support for younger parents is of utmost importance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 118, no 2, 122-129 p.
Keyword [en]
Content analysis, fertility, interviews, parenthood, reproduction
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-200056DOI: 10.3109/03009734.2012.762074ISI: 000317486000009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-200056DiVA: diva2:622916
Available from: 2013-05-23 Created: 2013-05-20 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, CarolaLarsson, MargaretaSvanberg, Agneta SkoogTydén, Tanja

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