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Accessing Medical Care for Infertility: A Study of Women in Mexico

Open AccessPublished:November 23, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xfre.2022.11.013
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      Objective

      To investigate barriers in accessing care for infertility in Mexico, as little is known about this issue for low and middle-income countries, which comprise 80% of the world’s population.

      Design

      Cross-sectional analysis

      Setting

      Mexican Teachers’ Cohort

      Patients

      115,315 female public-school teachers from 12 states in Mexico

      Interventions

      None

      Main Outcome Measures

      Participants were asked detailed questions about their demographics, lifestyle characteristics, access to the health care system, and infertility history via a self-reported questionnaire. Log-binomial models, adjusted a priori for potential confounding factors, were used to estimate the prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) of accessing medical care for infertility among women reporting a history of infertility.

      Results

      19,580 (17%) participants reported a history of infertility. Of those who experienced infertility, 12,470 (63.7%) reported seeking medical care for infertility, among whom 8,467 (67.9%) reported undergoing fertility treatments. Among women who reported a history of infertility, women who taught in a rural school (PR:0.95; 0.92-0.97), spoke an indigenous language (PR:0.88; 0.84-0.92), or had less than a university degree (PR:0.93; 0.90-0.97) were less likely to access medical care for fertility. Women who had ever had a mammogram (PR:1.07; 1.05-1.10), had a pap-smear in the past year (PR:1.08;1.06-1.10), or who had utilized private healthcare regularly or in times of illness were more likely to access medical care for fertility.

      Conclusion

      Utilization of infertility care varied by demographic, lifestyle, and access characteristics, including speaking an indigenous language, teaching in a rural school, and having a private healthcare provider.

      Keywords