Of the 50 states in America currently only 15 states have laws requiring insurance coverage for infertility treatment. 

  • Number of women ages 15-44 with impaired fecundity (impaired ability to have children): 6.7 million
  • Percent of women ages 15-44 with impaired fecundity: 10.9%
  • Number of married women ages 15-44 that are infertile (unable to get pregnant for at least 12 consecutive months): 1.5 million
  • Percent of married women ages 15-44 that are infertile: 6.0%

Yet 1:10 women have some kind of fertility related issue. About 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “According to the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth by the CDC, infertility affects about 12 percent of the reproductive-age population. In the United States, this includes 7.3 million women and their partners.

It is a growing epidemic in America that people need to be aware of and be prepared to deal with.  Infertility is a real life medical problem that needs to be addressed as such. We need more research, more medical funding. There needs to be more information that is readily available.

Experts from a great article from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38311820/ns/health-womens_health/t/many-couples-struggle-infertility-silence/#.UBmq0WmXTk4

 

“One in eight American couples will experience infertility, and 1.1 million women will undergo treatment this year. That most won’t talk about it makes it that much more painful: A recent survey of infertility patients reveals that 61 percent hide the struggle to get pregnant from friends and family. More than half of the patients included in the survey, conducted by pharmaceutical giant Schering-Plough, reported that it was easier to tell people they didn’t intend to build a family rather than share their troubles.” – msnbc.com

“Having difficulty getting pregnant can cause as much grief as losing a loved one, says Linda D. Applegarth, Ed.D., director of psychological services at the Perelman Cohen Center.”

“Women’s silence hurts more than themselves. It ensures that infertility remains an anonymous epidemic, with less funding and research than other common medical problems receive. Infertility activists, a beleaguered few, struggle to find allies. “We can get only a handful of our own volunteers to speak out, because of the shame,” says Barbara Collura, executive director of Resolve, the national infertility association in McLean, Virginia. “Because we have so little patient advocacy, we have so little progress.”

“It’s a strange dichotomy: How can a health issue that gets so much ink be shrouded in silence? We’ve read about the “Octomom” freak show and how the proliferation of multiples, linked to the rise in fertility treatments, drains the health care system. But rarely is the average person made aware of the frustration that 12 percent of women of childbearing age endure trying to make a baby. Nor do most people realize that a majority of infertility treatments fail; in 2006, 57 percent of IVF cycles using women’s own eggs failed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)”

“Infertility is not cancer. But it is debilitating. And some activists argue that infertility desperately needs the kind of awareness effort that helped bring cancer out of the shadows two decades ago. Breast cancer has its pink ribbon. AIDS has its walks, multiple sclerosis its bike-a-thons. Resolve does sponsor an awards gala honoring achievement in the field, but it draws primarily doctors and other professionals from the infertility world, not patients, and most important, it raises no money. Complains one Resolve member who walked out of last year’s event, “Everyone gets up and tells their success stories. Infertility treatment isn’t always about success. And that’s the problem with how infertility is being handled; as with any other disease, some people won’t be cured. That’s why it needs more recognition and funding, so people can get help. But no one wants to recognize the failure.”

“Because no one wants to discuss infertility, “nothing gets done about it,” says Lindsay Beck, founder of Fertile Hope, a program run by the Lance Armstrong Foundation in Austin, Texas, that supports cancer patients whose treatments threaten their fertility. “Infertility is where breast cancer was in the 1970s — completely in the closet.”

“Even the health care providers and pharmaceutical companies that support infertility patients struggle with the best language to use and whether to label infertility a disease — something that conveys its seriousness but could make some patients feel more stigmatized and broken. There are any number of reasons some women don’t conceive easily: age, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome and their partner’s low sperm count, to name a few. Yet regardless of the why or how, “infertility is a disability,” says William Gibbons, M.D., president of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and director for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “For too long, those suffering from infertility have had their condition slighted or even ignored.”

“The World Health Organization in Geneva brought some clarity when it defined infertility as an actual disease. “Part of the problem is that the insurance industry considers infertility akin to cosmetic surgery; having a child is deemed by many insurers to be something men and women would like, but it’s not necessary for their health”

“Infertility treatments can be so intense that even when money is not a factor, “the stress can be too much to continue,” says Alice Domar, Ph.D., director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health at Boston IVF. Last year, researchers at Harvard Medical School found 34 percent of patients younger than 40 with insurance for at least three IVF cycles dropped out after only one or two; 68 percent of patients older than 40 gave up before exhausting their coverage.”

“Where are the tens of thousands of patients affected by this disease?” Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D–Fla.) asked the group of Resolve members gathered on Capitol Hill for Advocacy Day in June 2009. Wasserman Schultz was the last speaker of the day, and at least half of the 90 women who had come to lobby their legislators had already left. But still, said the congresswoman, there should have been more people there in the first place. “Where are your numbers?” she challenged them. “If you’re not going to fight for yourselves, how is anyone else going to fight for you?”… “When you have an issue that impacts millions and you can’t muster even 100 people to the Hill on a day that belongs to them, it becomes hard as a member of Congress to commit to putting energy into that issue,”… “There is a stigma to infertility that somehow you are less of a person, and that stigma has to come off completely,” she says. “Patients need to start shouting from rooftops. And their doctors need to step up with resources and advocacy, because they are the ones with the means to organize.”

The CDC report paved the way for the federal government to develop a National Action Plan for infertility, says Maurizio Macaluso, M.D., chief of the women’s health and fertility branch of the division of reproductive health at the CDC. He hopes this project will create newfound awareness that will “reduce the concern that [infertility] is a punishment or fate — or that it cannot be altered.”

With all this information out there, why is not being covered. Why are the right people not aware. We need to make a change! We need to raise our voices and make people aware! It starts with you, make a difference!

 

other sources:

http://pregnancy.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Statistics_on_Infertile_Couples

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/fertile.htm

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