Disparities in Ability to Access Fertility Care

Note: All information is embargoed until the time of presentation at the Scientific Congress, unless otherwise indicated.


Embargoed for Release: 12:01 am CDT Monday, October 8, 2018 


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Disparities in Ability to Access Fertility Care

Denver CO –  Research presented today at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine Scientific Congress showed that while the likelihood of having infertility was not impacted by race, education level, income or other social indicators, the ability to access treatment for infertility was strongly impacted by social factors.

A team from the University of Michigan found that even though the experience of suffering from infertility was spread evenly across groups, women with lower incomes, less education, lacking health insurance and without a stable primary care location had poorer access to infertility care in the United States.  Using data from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the researchers looked at information provided by over 2000 women of reproductive age. They found that 12.6% reported they had previously or were currently suffering from infertility.

The two groups, fertile and infertile women, showed the same breakdown of characteristics for race/ethnicity, income, education, insurance, and primary location of health care.  However, infertile women who were poorer, less educated, more poorly insured, used an emergency room as their primary healthcare location or were African American or Hispanic, reported reduced access to infertility care.

“The disease of infertility does not discriminate. Unfortunately, the ability of our patients to access care for it does. Race, wealth and education should not determine whether a patient gets the care she needs,” said Christos Coutifaris, MD, PhD, President of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

“This data is important because it shows the gaps in access to care.  We need to ensure these women get the family building education, support, and access that they deserve,” said Barbara Collura, President/CEO of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association.

O-7 A.S. Kelley et al “Disparities in Access to Infertility Care in the United States: Results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2013-2016”


ASRM is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the advancement of the science and practice of reproductive medicine. The Society accomplishes its mission through the pursuit of excellence in education and research and through advocacy on behalf of patients, physicians, and affiliated health care providers. The Society is committed to facilitating and sponsoring educational activities for the lay public and continuing medical education activities for professionals who are engaged in the practice of and research in reproductive medicine. 

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