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Exploring men's pregnancy-planning behaviour and fertility knowledge: a survey among fathers in Sweden
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 Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2172-6527
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. Sophiahemmet Univ, Dept Hlth Promot, Stockholm, Sweden..ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2753-9140
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2017 (English)In: Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, ISSN 0300-9734, E-ISSN 2000-1967, Vol. 122, no 2, p. 127-135Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Research about pregnancy-planning behaviour mostly focuses on women, even though pregnancy planning usually also concerns men. The purpose of this study was to investigate how men plan for family, and to measure their fertility knowledge after having become fathers. Material and methods: Data were collected in 2014 as part of a Swedish longitudinal pregnancy-planning study. Men were recruited through their female partner one year after childbirth. Participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire about pregnancy planning, lifestyles, and fertility. Results: Of the 796 participants, 646 (81%) stated that the pregnancy had been very or fairly planned, and 17% (n=128) had made a lifestyle adjustment before pregnancy to improve health and fertility. The most common adjustments were to reduce/quit the consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, or snuff, and to exercise more. First-time fathers and those who had used assisted reproductive technology to become pregnant were more likely to have made an adjustment. Fertility knowledge varied greatly. Men with university education had better fertility knowledge than men without university education. Conclusion: Our findings indicate that there is variation in how men plan and prepare for pregnancy. Most men did not adjust their lifestyle to improve health and fertility, while some made several changes. Both pregnancy-planning behaviour and fertility knowledge seem to be related to level of education and mode of conception. To gain deeper understanding of behaviour and underlying factors, more research is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD , 2017. Vol. 122, no 2, p. 127-135
Keywords [en]
Fathers, fertility knowledge, gender equality, lifestyle, preconception health, pregnancy planning
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-323499DOI: 10.1080/03009734.2017.1316531ISI: 000401756500009PubMedID: 28471260OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-323499DiVA, id: diva2:1113150
Available from: 2017-06-21 Created: 2017-06-21 Last updated: 2018-03-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. To Plan or Not to Plan: Gender Perspectives on Pregnancy Planning, Fertility Awareness and Preconception Health and Care
Open this publication in new window or tab >>To Plan or Not to Plan: Gender Perspectives on Pregnancy Planning, Fertility Awareness and Preconception Health and Care
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The level of pregnancy planning is of importance to the well-being of parents and children. Unintended and/or unwanted pregnancies are often associated with less health promoting behavior during pregnancy, poorer health of the new born, and relationship dissatisfaction. Preconception care is a health service with the purpose to encourage people to become mindful about their reproductive intentions and raise fertility awareness, in order to maintain or improve reproductive health.

Reproductive health is a highly gendered area, both due to biological conditions and social expectations on gender. In most cases, the focus of reproductive health and health promotion is on cis-women and their bodies. This thesis mainly focuses on persons self-identifying as men. The aim is to scrutinize the area of preconception health, investigate what pregnancy planning means to men and explore the relationship between pregnancy planning and fertility awareness.

In Study I, 136 couples who attended their first antenatal visit answered questions about pregnancy planning. Most pregnancies were planned and couples had similar perceptions of the level of their planning. Study II describes pregnancy planning behavior and fertility knowledge among 796 recent fathers. Also in this study, most pregnancies were planned and 17% of the men had made at least one preconception lifestyle adjustment to improve health and fertility. Fertility knowledge varied greatly, although men with higher education demonstrated higher knowledge. Study III explores if Reproductive Life Plan-based counselling during a sexual health visit could increase men’s fertility awareness. The counselling had a moderate effect on participants’ fertility knowledge but managed to raise new thoughts about their own fertility, and was well received. Study IV follows up on the results from the first three studies, through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with 25 men aged 23-49. Most participants took their fertility for granted. To cis-men in heterosexual relationships, the meaning of pregnancy planning usually meant taking the decision to try to become pregnant, and not much more. Trans-men and gay men where more invested in practical planning issues. In conclusion, this thesis shows how pregnancy planning is gendered, and that it is a more complex phenomenon than previously acknowledged.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 71
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1451
Keywords
Reproductive Health, Preconception Care, Fertility Awareness, Pregnancy Planning, Men, Fathers
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Gender Studies
Research subject
Medical Science; Pathology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-346125 (URN)978-91-513-0298-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-05-18, Humanistiska teatern, Thunbergsvägen 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-04-26 Created: 2018-03-27 Last updated: 2018-05-31

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Bodin, MajaKäll, LisaTydén, TanjaStern, JennyDrevin, JenniferLarsson, Margareta
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Obstetrics and GynaecologyCentre for Gender ResearchDepartment of Women's and Children's HealthCaring SciencesInternational Maternal and Child Health (IMCH)
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