Infertile Couples Getting Affordable Treatment

Infertile Couples Getting Affordable TreatmentInfertile Couples Getting Affordable Treatment

Three million infertile couples have been provided affordable infertility treatment services since the Health Reform Plan was launched in 2014, said Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi.

“There are three million infertile couples in the country, all of whom were given access to the services at one of the 17 infertility treatment centers across Iran,” he said at the inauguration ceremony for 20 health centers in the southern Kerman Province on Thursday.

The infertility treatment facilities are part of the ministry’s drive to help boost the current population growth, increase fertility rates, reduce termination of pregnancies and maternal deaths, and promote mother and childcare in line with the population decree of the Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

In May 2014 in response to the changing age structure as well as the decline in growth rates, Ayatollah Khamenei instructed relevant government bodies to implement a 14-article population policy.

The main strategy of the ministry in implementing the first article, which addressed improving “the dynamism, development and youthful nature of the population” by increasing the fertility rate to above the replacement rate, was to encourage planned pregnancies.

Iran has seen rapid fertility decline, from above 6 births per woman at the time of the 1979 Islamic Revolution to 1.9 today, according to the UN Population Division estimates (2012). Among Muslim countries, only Albania has a lower fertility rate.

A result of the TFR (total fertility rate) decline is the rapid aging of the population, with the median age rising from 18 years in 1979 to 29 at present. Under the population division’s medium variant projection, the average age will exceed 40 by 2050.

Infertility rates among couples living in urban areas are as high as 19.9% and the same indicator in rural areas has been reported as 22%. In other words, one out of every five Iranian couples is infertile.

Facilities for infertility treatments including tests, IUIs, and IVFs are now also covered by social security insurance.

With the minimum cost for a full-term treatment at nearly $3,500, several couples cannot afford the treatment, which in fact is only 15% effective.  The government is partly funding the treatment costs (80%) at specialized infertility centers, and couples are required to pay only 20% of the total cost.

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