Attitudes towards motherhood and fertility awareness among 20-40-year-old female healthcare professionals

Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2012 Dec;17(6):468-81. doi: 10.3109/13625187.2012.728015.


Objective: To explore attitudes towards family formation and fertility awareness among Danish female healthcare professionals.

Methods: We collected cross-sectional baseline data from a prospective cohort study of 863 women, ranging in age from 20 to 40 years, working at a hospital in Denmark. Information about participants' intentions and attitudes towards family formation and fertility knowledge was gathered by means of a questionnaire.

Results: Only 2% of the respondents did not want children. Most women believed that motherhood is important, and hoped to have two to three children. About half of the respondents intended to have their last child after the age of 35 years. The most important prerequisites for family formation included: living in a stable relationship, having completed one's studies, a sound financial situation, a job that can be kept when having children, access to public child day care, and the possibility of travelling. As many as 50% of women underrated the impact of a woman's age on fertility, and overestimated the success rates of assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments.

Conclusions: Many female healthcare professionals contemplated giving birth after the age of 35 years. Knowledge of fertility and ART success rates is needed to make well-informed decisions about when to have children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Decision Making
  • Denmark
  • Family Planning Services
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics
  • Humans
  • Infertility / etiology
  • Infertility / psychology*
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Prospective Studies
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women, Working / psychology*
  • Women, Working / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult