To evaluate the size and characteristics of the demand for a newly established, publicly sponsored, program of assisted reproduction for single women (SW) and women with a female partner (FP) in a European country.

Materials and methods

We analysed the application forms received during the first two years and structured interviews with 300 successive non selected applicants


The mean sustained size of the demand was of 52.6 applications per month (sd 14) and corresponded to 0.06 % of the target population. Data from 237 applicants was evaluable. 119 (50.2 %) were SW and 118 (49.8 %) were FP. The median age was 36 years, 36.5 years for SW and 34 years for FP (p < 0.001, Mann-Whitney). Clinically 18.6 % of women presented irregular cycles, and 17.8 % of women had undergone hysterosalpingography (HSG), with a 14.3% prevalence of tubal dysfunction.


A publicly sponsored program for Assisted Reproduction for SWFP should establish clear inclusion criteria, especially as regards to age, ovarian reserve, techniques offered, and the number of cycles to obtain the maximal efficiency. Further research specific for this group is required to ensure that they receive adequate care and ultimately to fulfil their reproductive rights.

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