We know that infertility is a big problem for women. The CDC reports that about 6% of women aged 15-44 in the US can not become pregnant after one year of the experiment (defined as infertility) and about 12% have difficulty getting pregnant and leading to pregnancy. Infertility is not only a problem for women, as male infertility plays a role in about 35% of cases. Unfortunately, it is often viewed as a problem for women.
In addition to the stigma of infertility, fertility treatment is expensive and not always accessible. While infertility rates in socioeconomic groups are similar, a new study published in Fertility and Sterility found that white women, higher educated women, and higher income women perform infertility treatment twice as often than people with less education and lower income.
The study found that 80% of women with a university degree or higher consult a doctor for infertility, compared to 33% of women with a college degree or less. In terms of income, more than two-thirds of women with incomes of more than $ 1
This may not be surprising since fertility treatment is not a standard procedure. Finding the right treatment can require extensive testing, doctor visits and test runs to find out what works, what can be expensive – especially if you are not health insured. In addition, common methods of infertility, such as in vitro fertilization, can be expensive.
"We hope these findings will encourage further research and policy changes to address inequalities in access to infertility," lead author Angela Kelley, MD, a OB / GYN at the University of Michigan from Voigtland Women's Hospital said in a statement. "Physicians may also consider reaching out to certain, under-represented and underserved groups of patients who may not benefit from infertility care but would benefit from a provider."
And, of course, fertility is a complicated matter – including seeing a healthcare professional and possibly making lifestyle choices. Things like maintaining a healthy diet, limiting toxin exposure in your household or in food, and finding ways to manage stress and anxiety can help fertility.
Infertility is frustrating as it may take several efforts to get results. This study demonstrates the importance of providing better access to education and treatment options for infertility as well as more affordable care for all women.