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>>

  • Fracking foes cringe as unions back drilling boom

    Fracking foes cringe as unions back drilling boom

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:25 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:25:56 GMT
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale fracking boom.That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit drilling.The Laborers' International Union, or LIUNA, says that construction work its members do on large pipeline jobs in Pennsylvania and ...More >>
    PITTSBURGH (AP) - After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale fracking boom.That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit drilling.The Laborers' International Union, or LIUNA, says that construction work its members do on large pipeline jobs in Pennsylvania and ...More >>
  • Ohio hog farms hit by disease that kills baby pigs

    Ohio hog farms hit by disease that kills baby pigs

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:22 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:22:01 GMT
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Hog farms in Ohio are reporting cases of a relatively new disease that kills newborn pigs.The state's agriculture department says it has recorded a couple hundred confirmed cases of the virus across Ohio.The disease first found a year ago causes baby pigs to become dehydrated and die.Severe strains of the virus can wipe out a farm's entire supply of baby pigs.The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently said the die-off has had a hand in shrinking the nation's pig herd by 3...More >>
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Hog farms in Ohio are reporting cases of a relatively new disease that kills newborn pigs.The state's agriculture department says it has recorded a couple hundred confirmed cases of the virus across Ohio.The disease first found a year ago causes baby pigs to become dehydrated and die.Severe strains of the virus can wipe out a farm's entire supply of baby pigs.The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently said the die-off has had a hand in shrinking the nation's pig herd by 3...More >>
  • Gender gap under Ohio governor nearly $10 an hour

    Gender gap under Ohio governor nearly $10 an hour

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:13 PM EDT2014-04-21 01:13:55 GMT
    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A newspaper investigation has found the average pay gap between men and women in the offices of four of Ohio's five elected statewide officials has grown to almost $10 an hour, as it's shrunk to under a dollar across the rest of state government.The Dayton Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1jWcGS7 ) women working in Republican Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-siks) office earn $9.81-an-hour less, on average, than men. That's the highest gender pay gap among statewide officeholders...More >>
    DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - A newspaper investigation has found the average pay gap between men and women in the offices of four of Ohio's five elected statewide officials has grown to almost $10 an hour, as it's shrunk to under a dollar across the rest of state government.The Dayton Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/1jWcGS7 ) women working in Republican Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-siks) office earn $9.81-an-hour less, on average, than men. That's the highest gender pay gap among statewide officeholders...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.
  • Around the WebMore>>

  • GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

    GM boosting China production capacity to 5 million

    Sunday, April 20 2014 10:52 AM EDT2014-04-20 14:52:53 GMT
    Sales of GM-brand vehicles in China should reach 5 million next year, and Cadillac sales will double to 100,000, the president of General Motors said Sunday.More >>
    The president of General Motors said Sunday that the company and local partners are boosting production capacity for GM-brand vehicles in China to 5 million.More >>
  • Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

    Sunday, April 20 2014 9:03 AM EDT2014-04-20 13:03:14 GMT
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
    NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.Helen Felumlee (FEHL'-uhm-lee) of Nashport in central Ohio died April 12. She was 92. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died April 13.The couple's children say the two met as teenagers and had been inseparable since then.The Zanesville Times Recorder reports (http://ohne.ws/1in7erG) that the pair married Feb. 20, 1944, and raised eight children.Their...More >>
  • Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Easter Bunny train sparks New Jersey brush fires

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-04-20 12:31:46 GMT
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...More >>
    POHATCONG TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A train carrying the Easter Bunny in northwestern New Jersey has ignited several small brush fires.The Express-Times newspaper in Easton, Pennsylvania, reports the fires occurred Saturday in Pohatcong Township and Phillipsburg. No major property damage is reported. A firefighter from the New Jersey state forest fire service fell and dislocated his hip.Huntington Volunteer Fire Company Chief Peter Pursell tells the newspaper the diesel en...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