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The Disincentives of Pregnancy & Needs toward Health Care Providers of Lesbian Females in Japan

The Disincentives of Pregnancy & Needs toward Health Care Providers of Lesbian Females in Japan

In the Far East, as a social component, sociality put emphasis on getting married and starting a family. However, in most cases, the images of families are heterosexualized. Therefore, reproductive health issues/rights of lesbian females haven’t been noted. In a major survey in 2012, 5.2% of the population in Japan are from sexual minorities. Other says lesbian pregnancies exist but it is impossible to find out the number. In Medical field, knowledge of lesbian pregnancies is insufficient, and the disincentives of pregnancy and needs toward healthcare providers of lesbian females in Japan are not known.

Method: Semi-structured questionnaire was applied via internet. The social, economic, personal and medical disincentives of pregnancy, desire of pregnancy and care needs toward medical services are included. Participants must live in Japan, have Japanese nationality or resident status, are biological woman aged 18 to 49 and self-identified as a lesbian. Period of data collecting was April 18th to September 30th, 2014.

Results: Over 101 answers were received. Participants who desire to pregnancy were 29% with only 4% who made delivery. The social disincentives of pregnancy were the restriction of law toward marriage and fertility treatments, negative comments from parents and friends. In economic issue, assistance payments of fertility treatments from the governments are non-accessible. Lack of knowledge by healthcare providers and hetero-centred perinatal care was the barriers to lesbian pregnancies. Participants believe that doctors, midwives, nurses and co-medicals are unfamiliar with these issues.

Conclusions: Social acceptability improvement and law amendments to marriage and fertility treatments are considered to improve reproductive health/rights of lesbian women. Therefore, training on sexual-minority issues for healthcare providers will lead to improving environment of perinatal care toward lesbian women.

Speakers: Yi-Ning Tu

SoAS 2016

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