BASKING RIDGE, N.J., April 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey (RMANJ), known for innovative and evidence-based infertility care, today unveiled findings from their 2017 Trends in Infertility Survey and Report to coincide with National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) taking place from April 23-29. The national survey examines the facts about infertility, as well as the misconceptions many have toward this issue.
To help potential patients understand the facts about fertility, RMANJ will post results of the survey over the week on the company's blog, as well as additional social channels.
"With nearly seven million men and women facing infertility, and with more Americans delaying pregnancy until later in life, we need to better educate them about the best paths available to building a family when they're ready," said Thomas A. Molinaro, MD, MSCE, FACOG a partner at RMANJ and lead physician at the Eatontown, NJ office. "It's critical to start conversations about fertility earlier and more frequently, and our survey revealed that patients need to be empowered to start the conversation."
Leading the knowledge gap and need for education, RMANJ learned that 87% of respondents are very (57%) or somewhat confident (30%) in their ability to have their first or next child when they're ready. However, with 84% of respondents offering reasons for delaying pregnancy until later in life, combined with the fact that peak fertility is in the mid- to late-20s, many prospective parents do not know that they face increased risks due to the delay.
The survey also found various misconceptions about In vitro fertilization (IVF), openness towards fertility treatments and the barriers that many encounter to starting a family.
In fact, 77% of respondents said that they were very or somewhat concerned about having twins or multiples through IVF. At the same time, nearly nine in ten (87%) believe that to increase their chances of having a child through IVF, they must be willing to transfer more than one embryo per attempt and are unaware of the many burdens these multiple deliveries place on mom, child, other healthcare providers, and healthcare system at large.
However, with the validation of comprehensive chromosome screening (CCS) and gaining a better understanding of the importance of synchrony between the embryo and the uterus at time of transfer, the promise of one healthy baby at a time is now a reality for hopeful parents.
Barriers to Starting a Family:
Beyond exploring the knowledge gap, respondents identified several barriers that may stop them from following through with fertility treatments. Cost of care or lack of insurance is the top barrier preventing American women from undergoing fertility treatment (51%). Nearly 40% of respondents said debt, such as credit cards or student loans, was holding them back from building a family. Additionally, 30% cited delaying pregnancy because they couldn't afford it right now.
The desire for infertility treatment is so great that nearly two thirds (64%) of respondents stated they would be willing to switch jobs if an employer offered infertility treatment options as part of their health benefits plan. Currently, most patients in the US pay out of pocket for fertility care and just 15 states have state-based insurance mandates for fertility care coverage. The average cost for care, $12k-$15k per IVF cycle, is hard for many to manage, and the survey revealed 72% of respondents felt receiving a financial refund after unsuccessful IVF would make it easier to enter care.
Openness Towards Fertility Treatments:
Regardless of the misconceptions revealed by the survey, there is an overall sentiment of openness toward fertility treatments. Nearly 8 out of 10 (79%) respondents are willing to use fertility preservation, such as egg or sperm freezing, to increase their chances of having a family in the future. There's also a sentiment of inclusivity, as most Americans believe that fertility treatments should be available regardless of one's sexual orientation, with 68% agreeing that members of the LGBT community should have equal access to reproductive care.
Other noteworthy, high level findings from the survey include:
- 80% of respondents said they are likely (40%) or somewhat likely (40%) to share the fertility process with their family and friends.
- Only 5% of respondents said that their concern about the Zika virus is the reason for delaying getting pregnant.
- 72% of female respondents do not feel that the same infertility treatments and processes are used routinely across all US fertility specialists.
- Only 42% of respondents said that success rates or delivery rates were most important when choosing infertility care.
More Fertility Education Needed:
Fertility education starts with a conversation, and the survey unfortunately found that 81% of women said they never discussed their fertility with their doctor, without bringing it up first. And while 83% of respondents said they're satisfied with the quality of information they've received from healthcare providers, news media, or other sources about how to maximize their future fertility, there's still a gap in knowledge of fertilization options and misconceptions about IVF.
About Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey
Since 1999, the leaders at RMANJ have helped bring more than 40,000 babies to loving families. In addition to serving as the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, NJ (www.reifellowship.com) and the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Fellowship Program for Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, the practice currently has twenty-five physicians and ten locations in New Jersey: Basking Ridge, Eatontown, Englewood, Freehold, Hamilton, Morristown, Somerset, Springfield, West Orange, and its newest location in Marlton, New Jersey. For more information visit www.rmanj.com.
SOURCE Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey