HEALTH STATUS >
In 2002, approximately 8.9 percent of women 18-44 years
of age in the U.S. reported receiving infertility services at some
time in their life and 2.0 percent had an infertility-related medical
appointment within the past year. Infertility services include receiving
advice from a medical professional, infertility testing, drugs to
improve ovulation, surgery to correct tubes, and artificial insemination.
Non-Hispanic White women were most likely to report ever seeking
medical help to get pregnant (10.7 percent) compared to other racial
and ethnic groups; non-Hispanic Black women were least likely (4.7
percent) to seek medical help.
The average age at first birth among women in the U.S reached an
all-time national high of 25.1 years in 2002. The age at first birth
has risen steadily over the past three decades from an average of
21.4 years in 1970.1 This reflects a drop in the birth rate among
teens and an increase among women in their 30s-50s. The delay in
trying to conceive, coupled with the natural decline in women’s
fertility beginning in the late 20s or early 30s, may be one reason
why women between the ages of 40 and 44 were likely to report ever
seeking medical help to get pregnant; this age group represented
11.7 percent of women using infertility services. Women aged 30-34
years represented 34.8 percent of women using these services in
the past year.
Of the approximately 5.1 million women who reported ever seeking
medical help to get pregnant, 11.1 percent were currently pursuing
medical help to get pregnant, and 75.8 percent had private insurance
that covered some portion of their infertility services. The three
most commonly reported services were advice (66.1 percent), infertility
testing (21.2 percent), and drugs to improve ovulation (7 percent).
1National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 52, No. 10,
December 17, 2003.