Management of encounters related to subfertility and infertility in Australian general practice: A focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females

E. Gilbert, A. Rumbold, S. Campbell, J. A. Boyle, L. Grzeskowiak

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Abstract

Objective: To investigate the management of subfertility and infertility among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females attending Australian general practice. 

Methods: Cross-sectional study of 1,258,581 women (18–49 years) attending general practice between January 2011 and June 2019, utilising data from NPS MedicineWise MedicineInsight, a national general practice database in Australia. 

Results: The prevalence of subfertility/infertility encounters was lower for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females (12.37 per 1,000) than for non-Indigenous females (16.62 per 1,000). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females with a subfertility/infertility encounter were younger and more likely to live outside Major cities and in areas of socioeconomic disadvantage than non-Indigenous females. Rates of prescribed infertility medications were not different between groups, however Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females were more likely to receive a pelvic ultrasound (24.30% vs. 19.90%); tests for luteinizing hormone (31.89% vs. 25.65%); testosterone (14.93% vs. 9.96%) and; glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) (6.32% vs. 3.41%),but less likely to receive an anti-müllerian hormone test (2.78% vs. 7.04%). 

Conclusions: Lower encounter rates for infertility/subfertility among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples may indicate access issues, preferred use of Aboriginal community-controlled health centres or younger average age at first birth and thus less age-related infertility. 

Implications for public health: Future efforts should focus on maximising the inclusiveness of infertility surveillance. There is also a need for further research into the experiences of and preferences for infertility care and associated barriers among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Original languageEnglish
Article number410
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalBMC Women's Health
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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