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Access to Infertility Consultations “What Women Tell Us About it”?

[ Vol. 15 , Issue. 1 ]

Author(s):

Paula Remoaldo, Maria de Fátima da Silva Vieira Martins*, Juliana Patrícia Alves Faria and Paula Veiga   Pages 75 - 83 ( 9 )

Abstract:


Background: Infertility has been considered as a serious public health problem. Nevertheless, it is still very difficult to assess the epidemiology of this individual and public health problem. On the other hand, promotion of access to infertility treatments must be treated as a priority to national and regional policies.

Objective: The aim was to evaluate the perception of women concerning the barriers and access to infertility consultations.

Methods: Socio cultural and economic access to infertility consultations is detached and three municipalities of the northwest of Portugal were chosen as an example of a peripheral country. A quantitative/qualitative study was done with 60 women.

Results: Three dimensions were evaluated: geographic and structural and functional access, economic access and sociocultural access. The main barriers were mainly identified in the last two dimensions. The economic access was less well evaluated by women bearing the cost of treatment (medication, and concentration of costs in a short period) which is difficult to bear.

Conclusion: This can justify a greater involvement of the Portuguese Government, by developing policies for the reimbursement of part of the costs. Also, some changes in structural and functional access must be done with special regard to the separation of the infertility consultations from the reproductive medicine section. The setting of the teams, with a follow-up by the same team of health professionals is also needed.

Keywords:

Infertility, perception, women, care, access, equity.

Affiliation:

Lab2PT (Landscape, Heritage and Territory Laboratory), University of Minho, Braga, School of Nursing, University of Minho, Braga, Empresa Municipal Vimágua, Guimaraes, Department of Economy, University of Minho, Braga

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