Use of infertility services in the United States

Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Jul;82(1):122-7.


Objective: To examine the characteristics of women in the 1988 National Survey of Family Growth who reported having obtained medical services for impaired fecundity.

Methods: From a national sample of 8450 women between the ages of 15-44, drawn from the civilian, noninstitutionalized population of the entire United States in 1988, we estimated the use of infertility services in the United States. Multivariate statistical modeling was used to identify the characteristics associated with use of infertility services among the 770 women who reported impaired fecundity in this survey.

Results: Of all women with impaired fecundity, 43% had obtained some form of infertility service and 24% had obtained specialized infertility treatment--ovulation drugs, treatment of fallopian tubes, artificial insemination, or in vitro fertilization. Older, white, married women of higher socioeconomic status were most likely to have obtained specialized services, and a history of endometriosis was also strongly associated with having received such services.

Conclusion: Most women with impaired fecundity had not obtained infertility services. Use of specialized services was strongly associated with certain sociodemographic variables or a history of endometriosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female / therapy*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States