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Help seeking behaviour and risk in the context of female fertility

Bunting, Laura Elizabeth 2008. Help seeking behaviour and risk in the context of female fertility. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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Parenthood is a life goal desired by the majority of young people. However, not all couples who desire a pregnancy will achieve one spontaneously and a proportion of couples will need medical help to resolve underlying fertility problems. However previous research has highlighted a lack of fertility awareness in the general population. The aim of the studies to be presented in this thesis was to better understand help seeking behaviour in the context of fertility problems, establish risk factors associated with fertility potential, and identify targets for public health campaigns to improve fertility health related behaviour. The results from the current set of studies demonstrated that infertility is a prevalent problem in society with around 9% of the adult population affected. Given that parenthood is a desired goal by the majority of adults, it was therefore surprising to find that on average just over 50% of people with fertility problems seek any medical advice or care with an even smaller number receiving treatments. A key factor associated with fertility self-care and the initiation of treatment (when needed) was knowledge about fertility and the potential for successful treatment because such knowledge helps people take care of their fertility and reduces fear of diagnosis if a problem conceiving arises. Although young people (future parents) know that negative lifestyle factors can reduce fertility, they falsely believe in fertility myths and the power of being healthy. Finally, the risk factors associated with reduced female fertility potential were established. The majority of these risk factors have the ability to be modified and even prevented and thus offer the opportunity to develop a tool for women to assess their own fertility potential, and take more responsibility and control over their fertility health. Overall, the work presented in this thesis demonstrates that raising public awareness about fertility health issues is key in helping women understand that their current actions can impact on their future life goals and to help those experiencing fertility problems to act in a timely manner to seek the medical advice and help they may require.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
ISBN: 9781303185694
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2018 22:23

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