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Decision-making about seeking medical advice in an internet sample of women trying to get pregnant

Bunting, Laura Elizabeth and Boivin, Jacky 2007. Decision-making about seeking medical advice in an internet sample of women trying to get pregnant. Human Reproduction 22 (6) , pp. 1662-1668. 10.1093/humrep/dem057

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INTRODUCTION In light of the near universal desire to become a parent one would expect most people to seek medical advice if they were experiencing difficulties conceiving. Yet less than 55% do so and we sought to understand more about this paradox by comparing the psychosocial profile and decision-making of women not yet engaged in the medical process to that of those who had consulted. METHODS A Fertility Decision-Making Questionnaire was designed and posted on a website dedicated to women trying to conceive. RESULTS A total of 426 women completed the questionnaire, 56% had not yet consulted a doctor about conceiving (non-consulter, NC). Women who had sought treatment had more positive treatment beliefs, and a greater willingness to know if a problem existed, than those who had not yet consulted. Almost 20% of NC women already met the medical definition of infertility and this subgroup had a greater fear of discovering a problem and of being labelled infertile than other women in the study. CONCLUSIONS Seeking medical advice for fertility problems is mainly associated with what women know or want to know about their fertility and their emotional reactions to that knowledge. Negative reactions can substantially delay seeking help in 20% of women.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Decision-making ; Help-seeking ; Infertility ; Psychology ; Treatment-seeking
ISSN: 0268-1161
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2022 10:55

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