A long while ago, I wrote my first long blog on women’s health in Italy, covering birth control, abortions, HPV vaccines, and more. All the questions we all have, but never know who or how to ask in Italy. Finally, the time has come for a new women’s health in Italy post – or rather a series, starting with this blog about preparing for pregnancy in Italy. Here I wanted to give more information about what your first steps should be when thinking about conceiving in Italy.
Trying to get Pregnant in Italy – What you need to know
The first thing to know is that everything is much easier when you have Italian healthcare and a valid Tessera Sanitaria. Having access to this healthcare means nearly all your tests and treatments are free or available for very affordable fees.
When you are ready to try and would like to make sure everything is ok, you should get in touch with your local consultorio familiare. This office will set up an appointment for you and will go over the tests you might need, plus general lifestyle advice for fertility.
You do always have the option to seek out a private doctor if you don’t feel comfortable with ASL doctors. They will walk you through the same tests but you will have to pay for both the service and tests.
The Consultorio Familiare
These offices will actually be your main point of reference through trying and carrying a baby, they offer many different services, all free or very affordable with the Italian Tessera Sanitaria. These services include:
- psychological and social assistance for the preparation and support of parenting;
- psychological support for individuals, couples or families;
- services for the protection and support of women’s health;
- prevention of mistreatment and abuse of minors and women;
- gynecological and pediatric medical examinations;
- birth preparation courses;
- professional advice and information on responsible procreation, contraception and fertility;
- advice on abortions (IVG);
- Information and assistance concerning the problems of infertility, as well as medically assisted procreation (IVF);
- Information on adoption and foster care procedures.
Whether you are weaning off birth control, or want to start thinking seriously about having a baby, this is the office you should start at.
This is a great article that lays out all the potential tests they may have you do. As well as the possibilities available if you need assistance. There are exams and therapies available for both men and women, they will ask you and your partner to both come in and undergo the first level of tests to understand the next steps.
IVF in Italy
If you have reached the point you would like to explore IVF in Italy, you can first start by going to your local ASL, before exploring private options. This can save you a lot of money in the long run.
When asking, know that IVF is usually referred to as Procreazione Medicalmente Assistita (PMA) or FIVT in Italian. Under the public health system, there are limits to the attempts covered by the National insurance, depending on age and how many attempts you have gone through.
If you go privately, prices will range depending on the hospital you go to. However, I did see a few estimates that offer 100 for the consultation and 500 for every round of IVF.
Some Red Tape
Unfortunately, in Italy, there is a little more red tape when it comes to same-sex couples hoping to have a child and single women for that matter. Surrogacy is prohibited by law for both same-sex couples and single women (not necessarily for married couples).
If a same-sex couple chooses to do IVF in a foreign country, Italy will only recognize the biological parent.
Adoption is also not technically legal for same-sex couples, however, there are some ways around this, such as adopting abroad, but in many cases, you can expect some nightmares when it comes to the paperwork in Italy.
Single women, as well as women with a woman partner, can also not take advantage of any medically assisted pregnancy services in Italy.
Hearing some Stories
If you are struggling with infertility in Italy, there are a few wonderful women who have shared their stories, as well as details on the processes they went through here in Italy. I highly recommend having a listen-through to these videos. Jasmine of QuestaDolceVita has documented her whole story on IG here.