Editorial

Keywords:

assisted reproduction, childlessness, developing countries, infertility care, public health, reproductive health, reproductive rights, simplified IVF


Published online: Mar 30 2017

W. OMBELET 1,2,3,4, J. GOOSSENS 3

1 Editor-in-Chief; 2 Genk Institute for Fertility Technology, ZOL Hospitals, Schiepse Bos 6, 3600 Genk, Belgium; 3 The Walking Egg non-profit Organization; 4 Hasselt University, Department of Physiology, Martelarenlaan 42, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium

Abstract

The consequences of involuntary childlessness in developing countries create more wide-ranging societal problems compared to Western societies, particularly for women. Negative psychosocial and economical consequences for childless couples are often severe and underestimated by the local and international society. Infertility treatment is often limited to certain procedures and certain costumers.

Most common arguments against supporting infertility care in resource-poor countries are the “overpopulation” and the “limited resources” argument, but they totally neglect the reproductive rights and systematic exclusion of millions of women from the right to reproduce.

Because ART procedures are very expensive, governments and international aid-organisations are currently not investing in this technique. But the scene has changed recently: inexpensive ovarian stimulation protocols for IVF have proven their value and simplified but high quality low cost IVF techniques are available nowadays.

From an ethical point of view it is our belief that the community can no longer justify the systematic exclusion of one tenth of couples from the right to reproduce in resource-poor countries.