Programs that provide access to pregnancy termination services for individuals who want to avoid an unplanned or unwanted birth.
Programs that provide permanent or temporary measures by which an individual can prevent conception.
Programs that apply what is known about human genetics to advise prospective parents who are concerned about the recurrence of hereditary problems or abnormalities in their offspring or for others (adults and children) who may be at risk for a variety of inherited conditions and need information about their own prospects for health. Genetic counselling is also routinely offered to women, usually age 35 and older, who are considering a first pregnancy. Genetic counsellors identify families at risk, investigate the problem present in the family, interpret information about the disorder, analyze inheritance patterns and risks of recurrence and review available options with the family. They also provide supportive counselling to families, serve as patient advocates and refer individuals and families to community or provincial support services.
Programs that provide diagnostic and treatment services for people who have been unable to have children. A wide variety of procedures are available including the use of hormones or medication (fertility drugs) to stimulate egg/sperm production, assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization which involve retrieval of eggs and enhancement of eggs and/or sperm outside the body, embryo transfer (following in vitro fertilization or embryo donation), microsurgical procedures to improve the likelihood of embryo implantation in the uterus and embryo development, artificial insemination using the male partner's sperm or donor sperm, embryo donation, embryo/sperm cryopreservation and embryo adoption.
Programs that provide counselling for women who have made a decision to terminate their pregnancy. The counselling provides information about fetal development, pregnancy prevention, the abortion procedure the patient will undergo, the risks and alternatives to the procedure, the risks of continuing the pregnancy and, when medically accurate, possible complications and longer term health risks such as sterility or risks to subsequent pregnancies associated with the procedure. The woman may be given written information to review and may be asked to sign an informed consent form.
Programs that help people who are experiencing a crisis pregnancy resolve any social or personal problems that have arisen as a result of their pregnancy or the prospect of parenthood, and help them understand their conflicting emotions, put their feelings in perspective, evaluate their options and make a decision that right is for them.
Programs that utilize laboratory procedures to determine whether an individual is pregnant or which provide access to devices for establishing pregnancy that people can use at home.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.