Still childless at the age of 28 to 40 years: a cross-sectional study of Swedish women's and men's reproductive intentions.Sex Reprod Healthc. 2014 Mar; 5(1):23-9.SR
Delayed childbearing is associated with adverse reproductive outcomes. Our aim was to investigate Swedish women's and men's childbearing intentions at the age of 28, 32, 36 and 40 years, in terms of: (1) time point for a first child, (2) number of children, and (3) reasons for not yet having children.
Cross-sectional data from the Swedish Young Adult Panel Study, including 365 childless women and 356 childless men aged 28, 32, 36 and 40 years who responded to a questionnaire in 2009. Descriptive and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted.
Most 28- and 32-year-olds intended to have children, but only 32% of women and 37% of men aged 36/40 years (merged), many of whom still postponed childbearing. Reasons for remaining childless differed by age. Most prominent in the 36/40-year-olds were: lack of a partner (women 60%, men 59%), no desire for children (women 44%, men 44%), not mature enough (women 29%, men 35%), and wanting to do other things before starting a family (women 26%, men 33%). The 36/40-year-olds had the highest odds for infertility problems (OR 3.8; CI 95% 1.8-7.9) and lacking a suitable partner (OR 1.8 CI 95% 1.1-3.0), and lower odds for reasons related to work and financial situation.
Many childless 36- and 40-year-olds intended to have children but seemed to overestimate their fecundity. The most prominent reasons for being childless were: not having wanted children up to now, lack of a partner, infertility problems, and prioritising an independent life.