Compared with the indigenous population of a host country, undocumented migrant women often experience more complicated reproductive health issues and fewer women access preventive gynaecology services. The aims of the study were to identify the reproductive health issues and demand for health services of undocumented migrant women living in Istanbul.
The population of this cross-sectional, descriptive study comprised 236 undocumented migrant women living in Istanbul, recruited using the snowball method. Data were collected through a three part questionnaire written in Turkish, Arabic, Persian, English and French.
The mean age of the participants was 27.6 ± 7.0 years; 47% were transit migrants; 72% became pregnant in Turkey; 42.2% had had an unplanned pregnancy; 70.8% had received antenatal care; 10.4% had had an unplanned home birth; and 21.2% reported menstrual irregularity. Only 5.5% reported that they had had a gynaecological examination and only 4.2% had taken part in a screening programme.
Participants’ primary reproductive health problems were unwanted pregnancy and menstrual irregularity. While demand for family planning, regular gynaecological examinations and screening programmes was low, demand for antenatal and childbirth care was high.