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Infertility Services

In 2002, almost 9 percent of women aged 18 to 44 years in the United States reported receiving infertility services at some time in their lives, and 2 percent had an infertility-related appointment in the past year. The most commonly reported service received was advice from a medical professional (66.1 percent), followed by infertility testing (21.2 percent). The remaining services were: drugs to improve ovulation (7.0 percent), artificial insemination (2.0 percent), surgery to correct blocked tubes (0.9 percent), and other types of medical assistance (2.8 percent).

Non-Hispanic White women were most likely to report ever using infertility services (10.7 percent), while non-Hispanic Black women were least likely (4.7 percent). Non-Hispanic White women were much more likely than women of other races to receive advice regarding infertility, and only slightly more likely to receive infertility testing or other services.

Of the approximately 5.1 million women who reported ever seeking medical help to get pregnant, 11.1 percent were currently pursuing medical help, and 75.8 percent had private insurance that covered some portion of their infertility services. The average age at first birth among women in the United States reached an all-time national high of 25.1 years in 2002; this rate has risen steadily over the past 3 decades from an average of 21.4 years in 1970.1 The delay in trying to conceive, coupled with the natural decline in women’s fertility beginning in the late 20s or early 30s, may help explain the significant number of women who seek help getting pregnant.

1 National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 52, No. 10; December 17, 2003.

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Women's Health USA 2006 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2006. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2006.