According to the CDC, about 12% of women between the age of 15-55 have difficulty getting pregnant.
For a woman in New York City, where a fertility clinic is simply a Google search away (and upward mobility may allow for more disposable income), the lack of fertility clinics may not be noticeable. But according to a study led by Dr. John Harris, of the University of Pittsburgh, close to 40 percent of women, who are of reproductive age, have little to no access to clinics.
“Infertility is by itself a difficult issue for couples to face emotionally and financially,” explained Dr. Harris. “Based on geography, many couples who are trying to start families may have only one clinic nearby where they seek these services, and many women with infertility do not have any nearby access to these services at all, adding additional anxiety during an already stressful time of life.”
For a single woman turning to IVF as a form of conception, the decision to take on parenthood on their own may be hindered by the inability to seek adequate treatment. The same could be said of women and men in heterosexual relationships who look for treatment for their male partner.
While fertility is oftentimes qualified as a woman’s problem, the CDC states that data has found that, “7.5% of all sexually experienced men younger than age 45 reported seeing a fertility doctor during their lifetime—this equals 3.3–4.7 million men. Of men who sought help, 18% were diagnosed with a male-related infertility problem, including sperm or semen problems (14%) and varicocele (6%).”
Fertility problems are a shared challenge for all members of a relationship.
Looking forward, the researchers of the study hope to focus in on how far those living with infertility are willing to travel for treatment, as well as other variables.