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Variation in Self-Perceived Fecundity among Young Adult U.S. Women.

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

BACKGROUND: Individuals' perceptions of their fecundity, or biological ability to bear children, have important implications for health behaviors, including infertility help-seeking and contraceptive use. Little research has examined these perceptions among U.S. women. METHODS: This cross-sectional study examines perceptions of one's own fecundity among U.S. women aged 24 to 32 who participated in the 2009-2011 rounds of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (1997) cohort. Analyses were limited to 3,088 women who indicated that they or their partners never received a doctor's diagnosis regarding fertility difficulties. RESULTS: Of the women in the sample, 67% perceived their hypothetical chances of becoming pregnant as very likely; the remainder perceived their chances as somewhat likely (13%), not as likely (15%), or provided a "don't know" response (6%). Twenty-six percent of Black women and 19% of Latina women perceived themselves as not very likely to become pregnant, compared with only 12% among non-Black/non-Latina women (p < .001). Only 6% of women with a college degree perceived their chances of becoming pregnant as not very likely, compared with 36% among women without a high school degree (p < .001). Racial/ethnic and educational differences persisted in fully adjusted models. Other factors associated with fecundity self-perceptions include partnership status, parity, fertility expectations, sexual activity, prolonged exposure to unprotected intercourse for at least 6 and/or 12 months without becoming pregnant, and self-rated health. CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate that self-perceived fecundity differs systematically by demographic and other characteristics. This phenomenon should be investigated further to understand how it may influence disparities in health behaviors and outcomes.
Tijdschrift: Women's Health Issues
ISSN: 1049-3867
Issue: 1
Volume: 31
Pagina's: 31 - 39
Jaar van publicatie:2021
Trefwoorden:Parageneeskundige wetenschappen , Sociale wetenschappen: Algemene, regionale en gemeenschapsstudies