The current economic situation has aggravated the financial issues relating to access infertility treatments, forcing many people to give up the dream of having a child, warns the Associação Portuguesa de Fertilidade.

“The issue becomes dramatic when it comes to women who have already exceeded the age limit for accessing treatments in the National Health Service, 40 or 42 years old, depending on the techniques", said the executive director of APFertilidade, Joana Freire.

Joana Freire recalled that the pandemic had already had an equally negative effect on the lives of these people, which has now worsened due to the economic crisis.

“Not everyone can count on the financial support of family or friends or take out loans to try to make their dream of having children come true. Private treatments can reach several thousand euros and these women and men have to deal with the end of a path that they started, many times, several years ago”, stressed the official.

“Their primary goal is to have biological children and they shouldn’t be thrown the ‘you can always adopt’ answer. It is not up to them to assume this social responsibility, but to be a mother and father biologically if they want to”, defended Joana Freire.

For those whom adoption is not an option, not being able to pay for treatments in the private sector “is the end of a path”.

“Extremely difficult”

“Dealing with a life without children is extremely difficult, painful, and affects whether a woman in a single-parent project or a couple”, said the official, regretting that “a right is not recognised” for these people and they are asked to “find their own solution to the absence of the family they dreamed of”.

The Portuguese Fertility Association receives some requests for financial assistance, but as it is a non-profit organization, which develops its activities with the value of the membership fees, it has no capacity to provide this support.

“In these cases, we seek to find out if people have support from family and friends to face this inability to carry out their parenting project and we suggest that they receive psychological support, essential both individually and as a couple, when that is the case”, said Joana Freire.

Infertility affects 15 to 20% of couples worldwide, around 300,000 in Portugal.