Single mothers by choice - experiences of single women seeking treatment at a public fertility clinic in Denmark: A pilot study

Michala Steenberg, Emily Koert, Lone Schmidt, Jeanette Bogstad, Randi Sylvest*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Abstract

PROBLEM: There has been an increase in the number of single women deciding to have children through the use of medically assisted reproduction (MAR). These women are referred to as 'single mothers by choice' (SMC).

BACKGROUND: Previous studies have shown how SMC can feel stigmatised.

AIM: Explore if single women seeking fertility treatment in Denmark feel stigmatised.

METHODS: Six single women undergoing MAR at a public fertility clinic in Denmark were interviewed. The interviews were audiotaped, anonymised, and transcribed in full, after provided written consent by the participants to take part in the study. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis.

FINDINGS: The women would have preferred to have a child in a relationship with a partner. Despite their dream of the nuclear family meaning a family group consisting of two parents and their children (one or more), the women choose to become SMC because motherhood was of such importance, and they feared they would otherwise become too old to have children. The participants did not experience stigma or negative responses to their decision, but they all had an awareness of the prejudices other people might have towards SMC.

CONCLUSION: This study contributes to the understanding of the experiences of single women seeking fertility treatment in a welfare state where there are no differences in the possibilities for different social classes to seek MAR.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer104013
TidsskriftMidwifery
Vol/bind134
Sider (fra-til)104013
ISSN0266-6138
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 21 apr. 2024

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