Estimating the Need and Unmet Need for Infertility Services

Arthur Greil, Alfred University
Julia McQuillan, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Kathleen S. Slauson-Blevins, Old Dominion University
Stacy Tiemeyer, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Karina M. Shreffler, Oklahoma State University

Because many definitions of infertility do not take into account intent to have a child, they may overestimate the need for infertility services in the US. Limiting those in need of services to women “trying” to have a child and or to those who express intent to have a child may result in underestimations. We propose a definition of need for infertility services which includes all infertile women who say they have been trying to become pregnant or who say they would like to have a(nother) child. Using the National Survey of Fertility barriers, we estimate that 82.2% of women who had been infertile within five years of the survey were in need of services. This represents 9.8% of all US women between ages 25 and 45. Of these women, 44.8% did not speak to a doctor and may be considered to have unmet need for services.

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Presented in Poster Session 7: Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Health