Original Paper

Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 326-333

First online:

Factors Associated with Sexual and Reproductive Health Care by Mexican Immigrant Women in New York City: A Mixed Method Study

  • Gabriela S. BetancourtAffiliated withDepartment of Research and Evaluation, Planned Parenthood of New York City Email author 
  • , Lisa ColarossiAffiliated withDepartment of Research and Evaluation, Planned Parenthood of New York City
  • , Amanda PerezAffiliated withDepartment of Education and Training, Planned Parenthood of New York City

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Limited research has examined barriers to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services for Mexican immigrant women, especially those living in the eastern United States. This mixed-method study describes SRH care utilization and barriers experienced by female Mexican immigrants living in New York City. One hundred and fifty-one women completed surveys, and twenty-three also participated in focus groups. Usage of SRH care was low apart from prenatal services. The highest barriers included cost, language differences, child care, and poor service quality. After adjusting for insurance status, barriers were associated with receipt of gynecological care from a clinic or private doctor. Greater SRH knowledge was associated with current contraceptive use and a recent PAP test. Women reported that promotoras could increase information about SRH and decrease barriers. Results suggest that in a context where services are geographically available, health care utilization is impacted by lack of knowledge and structural barriers such as language, cost, and child care. Implications for community outreach are discussed.


Sexual and reproductive health Barriers Utilization Immigrants