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October 2021

Patient Educ Couns. 1997 May; 31(1): 19-27.

Choices and motivations of infertile couples.

van Balen F, Verdurmen J, Ketting E.

Department of Education, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

When couples are confronted with infertility they may choose among several options: medical help, adoption, fostering, alternative medicine and focusing on other life goals. The frequency of choices and motivations for these options were investigated among 131 infertile couples. Husbands and wives answered a structured questionnaire. The medical option was chosen in more than 80% of the cases. Also, this choice is made very quickly. Other options were considered at a later time, and chosen much later than the medical option. The most frequently mentioned motive for seeking help is the desire to have a child. This motive is reported in all forms of help seeking Motives for medical consultation are often seeking information, understanding the cause of infertility and physical complaints. Altruistic motives are rather important when considering adoption, and very important when considering foster-care.


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