Aims: Information about risk factors and preventive measures given before conception is estimated to prevent 15-35% of adverse pregnancy outcomes. We aimed to identify women's motives for not responding to an invitation for preconception counseling (PCC) from their general practitioner. Methods: A purposive sample of 11 women who did not respond to an invitation for PCC and who became pregnant within 1 year was interviewed. Results: Three key themes influencing nonresponse emerged from the data: perceived knowledge, perceived lack of risk and a misunderstanding of the aim of PCC. Conclusion: For successful future implementation of PCC, a more tailored approach may be necessary for certain (groups of) women, addressing the reasons why women do not consider themselves part of the target group for PCC. Copyright © 2008 S. Karger AG.