The Timing of Infertility Help-Seeking from a Couple Perspective

Jasmin Passet-Wittig, Federal Institute for Population Research, Germany

This paper investigates which characteristics of female and male partners influence the timing of infertility help-seeking relative to the point in time at which they first experience difficulties to get pregnant. As infertility increases with age and chances of successful fertility treatment decrease, long durations can be problematic especially for older couples. Late help-seeking can also point to structural barriers in the health system when it is influenced by socio-economic characteristics of the couple. The study adds to previous research on infertility help-seeking by consequently applying a couple perspective. It is hypothesized that to fully understand the help-seeking process, characteristics and attitudes of both partners and of the couple have to be accounted for. Data come from a prospective cohort study on couples visiting fertility clinics in Germany. Analyses confirm the relevance of both partners' socio-demographic characteristics and attitudes for the study of infertility help-seeking.

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 Presented in Session P3. Fertility Intentions and Behaviors