Public funding spurs couples to seek fertility treatment - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Public funding spurs couples to seek fertility treatment

Updated: May 16, 2013 10:00 AM EDT
© iStockphoto / Thinkstock © iStockphoto / Thinkstock
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Catholic school teacher layoffs hinge on enrollment

    Catholic school teacher layoffs hinge on enrollment

    Teachers in the Lumen Christi school system are waiting to learn if they will return to their classrooms in the fall.This is the first year six valley schools are united under the Lumen Christi Catholic School System, which began as plan to streamline resources and grow the schools. It consists of St. Patrick, St. Nicholas, St. Joseph and Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Christine, St. Charles and St. Luke. Both Holy Family and St. Christine also offer early childhood programs t...More >>
    Teachers in the Lumen Christi school system are waiting to learn if they will return to their classrooms in the fall.This is the first year six valley schools are united under the Lumen Christi Catholic School System, which began as plan to streamline resources and grow the schools. It consists of St. Patrick, St. Nicholas, St. Joseph and Immaculate Heart of Mary, St. Christine, St. Charles and St. Luke. Both Holy Family and St. Christine also offer early childhood programs t...More >>
  • Former Trumbull County special deputy jailed in Youngstown

    Former Trumbull County special deputy jailed in Youngstown

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:21 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:21:39 GMT
    Gregory OakesGregory Oakes
    A former Trumbull County special deputyhas been booked into the Mahoning County jail for allegedly running a private security business without a valid license.Eight misdemeanor counts were filed in Youngstown Municipal Court on on Tuesday against 51-year-old Gregory Oakes of Warren.Oakes pleaded not guilty to three similar charges filed in Warren Municipal Court on Tuesday.Earlier this month, Oakes pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of forgery and tampering with records following his indi...More >>
    A former Trumbull County special deputyhas been booked into the Mahoning County jail for allegedly running a private security business without a valid license.Eight misdemeanor counts were filed in Youngstown Municipal Court on on Tuesday against 51-year-old Gregory Oakes of Warren.Oakes pleaded not guilty to three similar charges filed in Warren Municipal Court on Tuesday.Earlier this month, Oakes pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of forgery and tampering with records following his indi...More >>
  • Tressel one of three finalists for Akron University president

    Tressel one of three finalists for Akron University president

    The University of Akron has narrowed the field of candidates for president to three names, including former Ohio State and Youngstown State football coach Jim Tressel, who is also one of 38 people who have applied for the vacancy of YSU president.U of A Trustees issued a statement on Tuesday naming the three finalists, who up until now were on a list of fifteen candidates for the Akron job.The finalists are:Ronald A. Nykiel, Ph.D. Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Universi...More >>
    The University of Akron has narrowed the field of candidates for president to three names, including former Ohio State and Youngstown State football coach Jim Tressel, who is also one of 38 people who have applied for the vacancy of YSU president.U of A Trustees issued a statement on Tuesday naming the three finalists, who up until now were on a list of fifteen candidates for the Akron job.The finalists are:Ronald A. Nykiel, Ph.D. Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at the Universi...More >>
By Kathleen Doheny
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- Public funding of assisted reproductive technology, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments, broadens the range of couples who seek treatment for infertility by attracting a more diverse population, according to new research from Canada.

When the province of Quebec began to fund up to three cycles of IVF in August 2010, researchers compared patients who sought that treatment before and after the mandate.

Afterward, "we found larger numbers of lower income, less well-educated, unemployed people seeking fertility treatment," said Phyllis Zelkowitz, director of research in the department of psychiatry and senior investigator at the Lady Davis Institute of the Jewish General Hospital, in Montreal.

The study is published in the May 16 New England Journal of Medicine.

For the study, Zelkowitz and her colleagues compared data on nearly 3,600 couples. Of those, 436 sought treatment before the policy change, 821 immediately after and 2,316 eight months after the policy change.

The investigators found the proportion of treated couples with college degrees declined from 68 percent to 63 percent eight months later. Unemployed couples seeking treatment rose from 3.6 percent to 11.6 percent. And the proportion of patients with household incomes of $65,000 a year or less increased from about 37 percent to more than 47 percent.

For white couples, the proportion dropped from about 67 percent to 63 percent in the eight-month period, after rising immediately after the policy change.

Zelkowitz also found the rate of couples seeking treatment for secondary infertility doubled from 14 percent to 29 percent. Secondary infertility means being unable to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term after having one or more biological children.

The mandated policy change came with stipulations, Zelkowitz said. It approved coverage for up to three treatment cycles of IVF. It mandated the transfer of only one embryo per treatment cycle, with a goal of reducing preterm births, she noted.

Preterm births are more common with multiple pregnancies and are riskier to the babies, experts agree.

"One of the goals of the funding was to reduce preterm births, and they have already done that," Zelkowitz said.

The study findings are in conflict with earlier U.S. studies, which have shown that even when patients have access to public funding for assisted reproductive technology, barriers continue to exist, including social, economic and ethnic obstacles. As a result, these earlier studies suggested, the typical patients remain older, wealthier, more-educated white couples.

In the United States, infertility affects about one of eight women of reproductive age and their partners, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Currently, 15 states have passed laws that mandate insurers to cover or offer coverage for infertility diagnosis and treatment, but some states exclude coverage for IVF.

Assisted reproductive technology is typically defined as fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled, such as IVF, but not procedures such as taking medicine to stimulate egg production, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Only about 5 percent of infertile couples need assisted reproductive technology, the society estimates.

For others, egg stimulation or lifestyle changes such as losing weight or stopping smoking can help them achieve a pregnancy.

However, for those who do need IVF, the cost can be prohibitive. A cycle of IVF costs about $12,400, the society estimates.

The study findings about patient demographics changing after public funding became available do not surprise Dr. Wendy Schillings, a fertility specialist in Allentown, Pa. When she meets patients who have only diagnosis covered, she said, they often delay treatment if they need IVF, hoping to save up the money needed.

Couples who don't have IVF coverage often ask for more embryos to be transferred, she said, and she then counsels them on the risks of multiple births.

"Absolutely lower-income couples can do it [seek treatment] and will do it," Schillings said. However, for those with higher incomes, the decision may involve fewer sacrifices, she added.

More information

To learn more about infertility coverage, state by state, visit the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • Jet stowaway undetected for hours before departure

    Jet stowaway undetected for hours before departure

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:44:25 GMT
    Surveillance cameras at San Jose International Airport successfully captured the teenager on the tarmac, climbing up the landing gear of a jet. But in the end, the cameras failed because no one noticed the security...More >>
    A 15-year-old stowaway who survived a flight over the Pacific in a jet's wheel well spent seven hours undetected in what is supposed to be a highly secure area of San Jose International Airport before the flight...More >>
  • Ohio teen on trial for alleged rape at school

    Ohio teen on trial for alleged rape at school

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 12:59 PM EDT2014-04-22 16:59:11 GMT
    (AP) - A high school student is standing trial in northeast Ohio for allegedly raping a classmate in the locker room. Prosecutors argued during the first day of the trial in Cuyahoga (KY-uh-HOH'-guh) County Monday that the boy, then 16, carried the girl into the locker room at Shaker Heights High School and raped her. An attorney for the now 17-year-old boy - who is charged with rape and kidnapping - argued that the two had consensual sex. The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports tha...More >>
    (AP) - A high school student is standing trial in northeast Ohio for allegedly raping a classmate in the locker room. Prosecutors argued during the first day of the trial in Cuyahoga (KY-uh-HOH'-guh) County Monday that the boy, then 16, carried the girl into the locker room at Shaker Heights High School and raped her. An attorney for the now 17-year-old boy - who is charged with rape and kidnapping - argued that the two had consensual sex. The Northeast Ohio Media Group reports tha...More >>
  • Ohio symposium focuses on homeless youth

    Ohio symposium focuses on homeless youth

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 12:43 PM EDT2014-04-22 16:43:14 GMT

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A meeting of minds is focusing on youth homelessness in Ohio.

    More >>

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A meeting of minds is focusing on youth homelessness in Ohio.

    More >>
  • Hot ClicksHot ClicksMore>>

  • Can an app save the planet?

    Can an app save the planet?

    This startup's Earth Day launch has a massive goal: Cut carbon emissions globally. It has its work cut out for it.
    More >>
    This startup's Earth Day launch has a massive goal: Cut carbon emissions globally. It has its work cut out for it.
    More >>
  • 'Captain America' holds onto top box office spot

    'Captain America' holds onto top box office spot

    Monday, April 21 2014 10:47 PM EDT2014-04-22 02:47:39 GMT
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Captain America really is unbeatable - at least at the box office"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" has been the top draw at theaters for three consecutive weeks, vanquishing would-be foes including the new thriller starring Johnny Depp.According to Monday's final box office figures, the Marvel sequel added $25.6 million in ticket sales over the weekend. "The Winter Soldier" has made more than $200 million domestically since logging the best April opening in history."Hea...More >>
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Captain America really is unbeatable - at least at the box office"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" has been the top draw at theaters for three consecutive weeks, vanquishing would-be foes including the new thriller starring Johnny Depp.According to Monday's final box office figures, the Marvel sequel added $25.6 million in ticket sales over the weekend. "The Winter Soldier" has made more than $200 million domestically since logging the best April opening in history."Hea...More >>
  • Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q

    Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q

    Monday, April 21 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-04-22 02:37:26 GMT
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Netflix is preparing a sequel unlikely to be a hit with its subscribers. The Internet video service is about to raise its prices for the first time in three years to help pay for more Internet video programming such as its popular political drama "House of Cards."The increase, to take place sometime before July, will hike prices by $1 or $2 per month for new customers. The company's nearly 36 million current subscribers will continue to pay $8 per month for at least the n...More >>
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Netflix is preparing a sequel unlikely to be a hit with its subscribers. The Internet video service is about to raise its prices for the first time in three years to help pay for more Internet video programming such as its popular political drama "House of Cards."The increase, to take place sometime before July, will hike prices by $1 or $2 per month for new customers. The company's nearly 36 million current subscribers will continue to pay $8 per month for at least the n...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms