• Ilse DelbaereEmail author
  • Jenny Stern


The topic of planning or preparing for pregnancy is complex. Words such as ‘planning’ and ‘pregnancy intention’ have different meanings for different communities. The ability to ‘plan’ a pregnancy assumes that women have access to resourcespower over decisions about their reproductive health and the ability to control their own future and raise their children in a safe environment (Ross 2017). Planning for a pregnancy may be a Western middle-class concept that doesn’t fit different cultures or religious perspectives. This chapter recognizes these complexities and aims to describe people’s general motivations to have children and the extent to which people understand human reproduction and lifts up critical issues around fertility that can impact a couple’s ability to achieve pregnancy. The chapter highlights age as one of the most important determinants of female fertility and a leading contributor to the higher need of assisted reproduction within the population. Female and male conditions requiring medical assistance to conceive are also described. Assisted reproductive techniques have their limitations but are currently efficient and still evolving rapidly with some very evolutionary procedures to come. Understanding fertility is important for all young adults. Health-care providers have a responsibility for educating people about their fertility and providing unbiased information and reproductive care


Fertility Fertility awareness Family planning Subfertility Reproduction 



The authors wish to thank professor Petra De Sutter (Ghent University, Belgium) for her advice on the medical topics.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vives University of Applied SciencesKortrijkBelgium
  2. 2.Sophiahemmet UniversityStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Uppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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