Sociodemographic characteristics and attitudes towards motherhood among single women compared with cohabiting women treated with donor semen – a Danish multicenter study

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To examine sociodemographic characteristics, family backgrounds, reproductive histories, and attitudes towards motherhood in single vs. cohabiting women seeking treatment with donor semen.


Baseline data collection in a multicenter cohort study.


All nine public fertility clinics in Denmark.


In total n = 311 childless women initiating assisted reproduction using donor semen.


Self-reported questionnaire responses from n = 184 single women seeking treatment by using donor semen were compared with responses from n = 127 cohabiting women.

Main outcome measures.

Sociodemographic characteristics, family backgrounds, reproductive histories, attitudes towards motherhood.


Single women were 3.5 years older on average when initiating treatment compared with cohabiting women. No significant differences were found regarding sociodemographic characteristics, previous long-term relationships, previous pregnancies, or attitudes towards motherhood between single women and cohabiting women. The vast majority of single women wanted to achieve parenthood with a partner, 85.8% wished to have a partner in the future, and approximately half of them preferred for a partner to take parental responsibilities.


In this study single women seeking treatment with donor semen in the public health system did not differ from cohabiting women, except that they were older. To be a single mother by choice is not their preferred way of parenthood, but a solution they needed to accept.

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