Men's expectations and experiences of fertility awareness assessment and counselling

Randi Sylvest, Emily Koert, Ida Vittrup Nielsen, Kathrine Birch Petersen, Helene Westring Hvidman, Finn Hald, Lone Schmidt


INTRODUCTION: Men play an important role in couples' decisions about the timing of parenthood, and tend to delay parenthood. The reasons for delaying childbearing are multifaceted and complex. They may be making decisions to delay parenthood based on a lack of accurate information about the reproductive life span and the consequences of delaying parenthood. The aim of this study was to explore men's expectations and experiences of fertility counselling.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data were collected through semi-structured qualitative interviews with 21 men attending the Fertility Assessment and Counselling Clinic in Copenhagen or Horsens, Denmark. The men had no known fertility problems before going to the fertility counselling. They were interviewed before and after the fertility counselling.

RESULTS: The men did not feel concerned about their fertility before going to counselling. They believed they would be able to conceive whenever they wanted. Three of the men had low semen quality and felt 'punched in the gut' when they received these results at the fertility counselling. The study participants preferred clear and concrete information, and relevant knowledge at the right time was very important. The men felt empowered after the fertility counselling because they were equipped with concrete information that could inform their parenthood plans and decision-making. Even the men who received unexpected 'bad' news felt positive about the fertility counselling. The participants perceived an increase in their knowledge and awareness regarding risk factors concerning fertility.

CONCLUSION: Men may benefit from an individualized approach where their fertility is assessed and they receive tailored fertility counselling specific to their personal fertility results. This type of intervention may be effective in increasing men's fertility awareness because it is personally relevant. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1471-1477
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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