Are Fertility Treatments Only for the Wealthy?
The latest government stats show that poor, non-white and less-educated women are the least likely to seek services for infertility.
As new US government statistics show, there seems to be a certain type of woman that most often seeks fertility treatments. While this statistic coincides with a decrease in women aged 15 to 44 who seek infertility treatment overall since 1982, it’s interesting to note that the richest of white women, age 15 to 44, were among the highest population to seek treatment for infertility.
The report’s author, Anjani Chandra, a health scientist with the US National Center for Health Statistics, found that, “21 percent of the wealthiest women had sought fertility services, compared to 13 percent of the poorest women. Fifteen percent of white women aged 15 to 44 had gotten medical treatment for infertility, compared to only 8 percent of Hispanic and black women.”
So, even though previous research has shown the ability to have a baby remains about the same across income levels and race, poorer women and minority women are less likely to seek advice and treatment on fertility issues. In addition, according to Chandra, “the research suggests that poorer women and minority women share the same desire for children as other women.”
While cultural acceptance of fertility treatments are at play, the significant cost of fertility treatment and insurance coverage definitely play a role in why less wealthy women seek assistance in having a baby. IVF is known to cost in the thousands of dollars, without guaranteed outcomes, and is not often covered by insurance, making it a difficult option for those without sufficient means.
But are IVF and other fertility treatments really just for the wealthy? Erin Pizzorno isn’t wealthy, but she refused to give up on her dream of having a baby. Hosting auctions, saving every penny and even conducting a successful Fertility Fundraisier for their first IVF treatment. After years of dedication, Erin and her husband are currently on the path to parenthood, “While my husband and I aren’t wealthy, I didn’t grow up poor. I knew there were ways we can accomplish our goal of making a family. I’ve always been very resourceful, so I put those skills to work towards fertility treatments.”
Affording fertility treatments can be a daunting task for many, but for poor women, the task seems bleak. But it isn’t impossible, and often times infertility drugs (rather than expensive IVF treatments) and seeking medical advice might prove helpful.
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