A new report suggests living in certain states could provide better treatment and support than others if you've been diagnosed with infertility.
An estimated one in five couples in the U.S. has trouble getting pregnant the first year of trying, and a new state fertility scorecard suggests finding help for the problem could be even more difficult.
RESOLVE, The National Infertility Association, graded each state based on three criteria: How many infertility specialists are available, the presence of support groups, and whether laws require coverage for treatments like In vitro fertilisation
Alaska, New Hampshire and Wyoming earned an "F". Those states had few, if any, accredited specialists and no insurance coverage requirements.
Illinois, Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey and Massachusetts, where laws require coverage of infertility, earned an "A". Florida earned a grade of "C".
Barbar Collura, president and CEO of RESOLVE knows her position isn’t popular with everyone.
“People look at infertility and say, ‘Well, you’re not going to die from it,’” Collura said. “It’s a medical condition where the reproductive system doesn’t work, whether it’s on the male’s or the female’s part. There are a lot of things covered that make your health and life so much better, but they aren’t life-saving treatments," says Collura.
Among those, Collura said, are breast implants for women who have had mastectomies to treat breast cancer and devices and drugs that help with sexual function.
“The ability to reproduce is one of the most basic human desires and functions...why can’t we help fix the reproductive system,” says Collura.
The RESOLVE rating system may not give the clearest picture, says Dr. Mark Perloe, medical director of Georgia Reproductive Specialists.
Perloe says, many patients in Georgia have good coverage because they work for companies based in Massachusetts. Beyond that, many patients get their information and support online these days — and if there isn’t a good clinic locally, they travel to a state where there is one.
He believes, the biggest issue facing people with fertility problems may not be availability or insurance coverage.
“My biggest fear is the politicians who want to shut down what we do,” Perloe said. “There is a block of politicians who don’t want IVF, who says ‘God should make embryos, not doctors.'"