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Specialized Fertility Clinics in All Provinces
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Specialized Fertility Clinics in All Provinces

Specialized fertility clinics will soon be established in all provinces, said Nahid Khodakarami, secretary of health, sanitation, and environment workgroup at the Vice-President’s Office for Family and Women’s Affairs, and head of the Iranian Association of Midwifery.

“Reproductive health and maternity care is an important area of focus for the vice-presidency under the Health Reform Plan, and encouragement will be given to natural childbirths,” she told Mehr News Agency.

Measures in prenatal care are essential, she said, expressing hope that the existing challenges would be addressed in cooperation with the Health Ministry.

There are three million infertile couples in the country. Fertility clinics assist couples, and sometimes individuals, who want to become parents but for medical reasons are unable to achieve parenthood by natural means. Medical standards for infertility treatment and reproductive biomedicine in Iran are on par with developed countries and offer a number of diagnostic tests and advanced medical treatment for conceptions and pregnancies.

The clinics will also offer counseling services to help resolve marital problems arising due to infertility and seek to advise couples on the issue. Studies show that 70% of infertility cases are due to both male and female fertility problems, 20% due to factors involving both partners, and 10% are unexplained causes.

“The centers will be staffed with trained personnel including reproductive endocrinologists and nurses,” Khodakarami said, adding that additional specialists from psychology, counseling, and nutrition fields will also be part of the team.

The clinics will run in all provinces on a trial basis initially.

“They will be health-centric and offer medical assistance, besides physical and psychological counseling.”

In the private health sector, the well-known Royan Institute, a public non-government, non-profitable organization established in 1991 in reproductive biomedicine, set up an Infertility Treatment Center two years ago. So far 3,500 people have received intervention, one-third of whom underwent treatment and 300 women were successfully impregnated. Embryo, egg and sperm freezing and donation and related services are undertaken at the center within the scope of religious jurisprudence and the national law.

 Workshops

Meanwhile, at the request of the Midwifery Office of the Ministry of Health to promote natural delivery and safe motherhood through modern communications and advocacy methods, two international consultants specialized in communications and advocacy, invited by the UN Population Fund in Iran, offered technical expertise to a selected number of midwives from different provinces in two three-day workshops in Tehran.

Natural delivery is said to be the better method for women particularly those planning to have more than one child. The high rate of caesarean sections (45%) is one of the current challenges faced by the health system.

One of the eight major goals of the Health Reform Plan, launched in May 2014 is to reduce the number of c-sections and to sustain achievements in lowering maternal mortality. Re-establishing physiological birth in hospitals and updating obstetricians and midwives to support and promote normal, natural birth through a project on midwifery-led care are areas of priority.

Through new models and techniques of communications and advocacy, midwives will be able to better communicate appropriate information to pregnant mothers to further advocate natural delivery, reduce maternal mortality and improve mother and child healthcare.

 

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