MCLEAN, Va., May 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today infertility advocates from across the country will gather in Washington, D.C., with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association to talk with Members of Congress about the lack of access to family building options such as fertility treatments and adoption for millions of women and men facing infertility as well as our injured service men and women and our Veterans. To help these advocates highlight state disparities in access to fertility resources, RESOLVE has once again partnered with EMD Serono to launch an updated index to measure and grade states' fertility friendliness, called The Fertility Scorecard. The state-by-state index was created by evaluating the number of RESOLVE support groups, the insurance climate and the number of fertility specialist physicians in each state.
"On Advocacy Day, we will work to highlight for Members of Congress the need for access to support resources and family building options across the country," said Barbara Collura, President/CEO of RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association. "The Fertility Scorecard, now updated a third time, has become an important tool to help us identify state-by-state disparities in access and support and to bring attention to what still can and needs to be done in terms of improving access to infertility care and medical treatments."
This year, the states that had an A grade on the scorecard are Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey, and the states that received an F grade are Alaska, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming.
"We developed the Scorecard not to publicly call out specific states for their lack of access but to care, but to motivate people to take action to improve their state's fertility friendliness," said Collura. "Even for the states that received top grades, we need to be vigilant to ensure access remains strong, and we need to remember that insurance mandates don't cover everyone."
The Fertility Scorecard also highlights states where the insurance mandate to cover fertility treatment may be in jeopardy as a result of the Affordable Care Act, or the state legislatures may have a history of trying to pass laws that negatively impact the infertility community.
RESOLVE urges anyone thinking about starting a family or experiencing issues getting pregnant to review The Fertility Scorecard at www.RESOLVE.org/fertility-scorecard. Through RESOLVE, you can also learn more about raising infertility awareness nationally and motivating your state constituents to become fertility advocates.
"We hope that by providing The Fertility Scorecard as a resource for people suffering with the disease of infertility we will help them take control of their fertility journey by becoming more educated about how to address both the financial and emotional barriers they encounter," said Collura. "We want to create conversations between patients, HCPs, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, policymakers and employers that will increase access to fertility treatment nationwide."
About Fertility Issues:
Couples who are having trouble getting pregnant should know that they are not alone and should feel empowered to seek medical help:
10.9% of all women aged 15-44 (regardless of marital status) have physical difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to live birth.
12% of married women have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining pregnancy.
1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant.
1 in 8 women of reproductive age have received help for infertility in their lifetime.
Couples should visit a fertility specialist if they are under the age of 35 and unable to become pregnant after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse, or six months if the woman is over 35 years old.
The good news is that approximately 65% of women who seek medical intervention give birth.
About The Fertility Scorecard: RESOLVE developed The Fertility Scorecard to highlight state-by-state disparities between access to support resources and fertility treatment, and to create a conversation among infertility stakeholders that will lead to increased access to fertility treatment.
The state-by-state index was created by evaluating the following criteria for each state and the District of Columbia:
Whether a state has an insurance mandate, and how impactful that mandate is
Number of fertility specialists (medical doctors) in a state that practice in a SART-accredited infertility clinic, relative to the state's infertile population
Number of RESOLVE support groups in state relative to the state's infertile population
About RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association: Established in 1974, RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is a non-profit organization with the only established, nationwide network mandated to promote reproductive health and to ensure equal access to all family building options for men and women experiencing infertility or other reproductive disorders. One in eight U.S. couples of childbearing age is diagnosed with infertility. RESOLVE addresses this public health issue by providing community to these women and men, connecting them with others who can help, empowering them to find resolution and giving voice to their demands for access to all family building options. For more information, visit www.RESOLVE.org.