Exploring Swedish single women’s decision to choose motherhood through medically assisted reproduction–a qualitative study

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New legislation was introduced in Sweden in 2016, giving single women access to medically assisted reproduction (MAR). While Swedish single women’s characteristics and motivations for choosing motherhood through MAR were assessed in our previous pilot survey, their experience of considering and making the decision to undergo MAR has not been assessed through a qualitative approach. Thus, the aim of this study was to explore Swedish single women´s experience of making the decision to choose motherhood through MAR. The study design was a qualitative method with a semi-structured interview guide used for individual face-to-face interviews. Sixteen single women accepted for MAR were interviewed individually during their waiting time to start treatment. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data. The data analyses resulted in three main categories: (i) longing and belonging; (ii) social exclusion and support; and (iii) evaluation and encounter. The overarching theme reflects the decision to become a single mother by choice: motherhood through MAR–an emotional and ambivalent decision to make on your own. In conclusion, to reach motherhood, by giving birth to one’s child and not deviating from the norm as childless, was considered important among these women when making the decision to become a single mother by choice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Fertility
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)237-248
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    Research areas

  • Assisted reproductive technology (ART), medically assisted reproduction (MAR), motherhood, qualitative study, single mother by choice

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