Report: Americans Experiencing a 'Fertility Gap'

Overview by infertility network examines treatment, medical & social trends

Apr 24, 2007, 01:00 ET from IntegraMed America, Inc.

    PURCHASE, N.Y., April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- A "fertility gap" exists
 between Americans and is fueled by differing levels of public awareness as
 well as financial, geographic, and social factors, dividing those who need
 help getting pregnant and those undergoing the most advanced fertility
 treatments, according to a new report from the largest network of private
 infertility medical practices in the nation.
     The "State of Fertility Report, 2007" -- issued by the 30-member
 network IntegraMed America, Inc. -- is a general overview of medical and
 social trends in regards to a condition that impacts one in eight American
 couples. The just-released report draws on previously published information
 as well as original research conducted in 2005 by IntegraMed. Among other
 conclusions, the report finds that rates of in vitro fertilization (IVF)
 treatments vary widely among states, aligning closely with the so-called
 "blue/red divide."
     Some disparities may be directly related to variances in geographic
 access. For example, according to data provided by the Society for Assisted
 Reproductive Technology, Hawaii, New Jersey and Kansas have some of the
 highest concentrations of IVF medical practices per capita, whereas two
 states (Montana and Wyoming) have no IVF specialists, and 12 more states
 are home to only one IVF practice each.
     While in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive
 technologies are not inexpensive, they account for only three hundredths of
 one percent (0.03 percent) of American health care costs, according to the
 American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). According to industry
 analysts, the U.S. fertility market is currently expanding by about 6
 percent to 8 percent per year. According to published reports, the number
 of fertility practices in the United States has grown by about 60 percent
 from just 10 years ago.
     Other key findings include:
     -- Despite a decline in demand for infertility services from aging baby
        boomers, a growing interest from younger patients continues to spur
        ongoing growth of the fertility medical sector.
     -- According to a survey of infertile couples by IntegraMed, the most
        common reasons women give for not seeking infertility treatments are
        self-described medical limitations, religious barriers, too little time
        spent trying to conceive, they already have a child and they prefer to
     -- Southerners are most likely to avoid infertility treatment for
        religious reasons, and those most interested in treatment are in their
        mid to late 30s, voted for John Kerry in the latest presidential
        election and are often white-collar professionals.
     "Our hope in presenting this compiled information is simply public
 education," says Jay Higham, President and CEO of IntegraMed. "Infertility
 sufferers should be aware of the broad landscape of choices of treatment,
 as well as social factors and influences, so that they can take full charge
 of their own reproductive health and make the best-informed decisions on
 where they seek help."
     Currently, fertility is a $3 billion a year industry in the U.S.,
 comprised of a pharmaceutical segment and a medical-practice segment. The
 practice segment currently employs about 1,500 physicians in approximately
 425 fertility centers.
     According to the Assisted Conception Taskforce (ACT), only six percent
 of the 90 million couples across the world experiencing conception
 difficulties receive the treatment they need. That leaves an estimated 94
 percent of infertile couples worldwide who are not receiving treatment
 (ACT, 2005).
     The State of Fertility Report can be downloaded at
     About IntegraMed America, Inc.
     IntegraMed America, Inc. provides business services to a national
 network of 30 fertility centers in 96 locations across the United States;
 distributes pharmaceutical products and treatment financing programs
 directly to consumers; and operates the Web site,
 a leading fertility portal. The IntegraMed network includes 161 physicians
 and Ph.D. scientists. Network membership is limited to one practice per
 metropolitan area, yet nearly one of every four IVF procedures in the U.S.
 is performed in an IntegraMed practice. IntegraMed provides more services
 to both consumers and medical providers in the fertility field than any
 other consortium. For more information,

SOURCE IntegraMed America, Inc.