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Canadian university students’ perceptions of future personal infertility

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DOI: 10.4236/ojog.2013.37101    3,700 Downloads   5,472 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Objective: University is a time for self-discovery, development of independence and transition to adulthood. It is not well examined whether childless university students also consider the potential of future personal infertility. The objective of this study was to document expectations and perceptions related to personal infertility in a sample of young adults. Methods: Using a qualitative approach, interviews were conducted with 39 male and female university students in Ottawa, Canada. Interview topics included contemplation of personal infertility, anticipated gendered experience of infertility and cultural perceptions of infertility. Results: The possibility of future infertility was not contemplated by most participants (74%). Although students generally expected infertility to be an emotional experience, women especially anticipated that infertility would be associated with negative gender identity and reduced self-esteem. Ethnic-minority participants from pro-natalist countries perceived infertility to be stigmatized by their communities, particularly against women. Conclusions: This sample of childless young adults anticipated many gendered and cultural dimensions of the experience of infertility, suggesting that these perceptions are shaped well in advance of contemplation of family planning.


Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Whitten, A. , Remes, O. , Sabarre, K. , Khan, Z. and Phillips, K. (2013) Canadian university students’ perceptions of future personal infertility. Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 3, 561-568. doi: 10.4236/ojog.2013.37101.

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