Access to Fertility Clinics Limited for Many U.S. Women

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Access to Fertility Clinics Limited for Many U.S. Women
Access to Fertility Clinics Limited for Many U.S. Women

WEDNESDAY, March 15, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 40 percent of reproductive-age women in the United States have little or no access to infertility clinics, according to a study published online March 10 in Fertility & Sterility.

Using federal government data, John Harris, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and colleagues pinpointed the locations of 510 assisted reproductive technology (ART) clinics nationwide. Just over 18 million women aged 20 to 49 -- 28.8 percent of that age group -- live in urban areas with no ART clinics, the researchers found. Another 6.8 million women in that age group (10.8 percent) live in areas with only one ART clinic, meaning they can't choose their infertility treatment provider.

Further research is needed to answer questions such as how far patients are willing to travel for infertility treatments; how much time and money patients are willing to give for such services; and how these factors interact with other issues such as race, socioeconomic status, and age, the researchers said.

"Nearby geographic access to ART services is limited or absent for more than 25 million reproductive-age women (39.6 percent of the U.S. population) in the United States," the authors write. "This population estimate should spur continued policy and technological progress to increase access to ART services."

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