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Use of Infertility Services in the United States: 1995

Elizabeth Hervey Stephen and Anjani Chandra
Family Planning Perspectives
Vol. 32, No. 3 (May - Jun., 2000), pp. 132-137
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
DOI: 10.2307/2648162
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2648162
Page Count: 6
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Use of Infertility Services in the United States: 1995
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Abstract

Context: Both the demand for and the availability of infertility services in the United States increased during the 1980s and early 1990s. Understanding the factors that are related to service-seeking among women with current fertility problems would aid efforts to better provide services. Methodology: Data on U.S. women's use of infertility services were taken from the 1995 National Survey of Family Growth, a nationally representative survey of 10,847 women aged 15-44. For the 1,210 women who at the time of the interview reported having fertility problems, multivariate statistical modeling was used to identify the characteristics associated with their use of infertility services. Results: Of the 6.7 million women with fertility problems in 1995, 42% had received some form of infertility services. The most common services ever received among these women were advice (60%) and diagnostic tests (50%), medical help to prevent miscarriage (44%) and drugs to induce ovulation (35%). The proportions of fertility-impaired women who had ever received infertility services were generally highest among those who were older, who had ever been married, who had graduated from college, who had a high income and who were non-Hispanic white. Multivariate analyses reveal that apparent differences by age and race or ethnicity in the unadjusted analysis disappear once the effects of women's marital status, income and private health insurance coverage are taken into account. Conclusion: Women who have ever used infertility services continue to represent a select group from among those with impaired fertility. Moreover, the vast majority of women with fertility problems who seek services receive noninvasive treatments that could be considered "low technology" interventions.

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