The U.S. fertility treatment industry is struggling to find the right balance of patient need and supply, a report published Tuesday by the Center for American Progress found.
The report, called the “fertility revolution: Fertility Care Without Limits,” examines the best practices for accessing fertility treatments and the need for an efficient delivery system.
It also looked at how providers are addressing the growing demand for assisted reproductive technologies (ART).
ART is a technology that uses an embryo to carry a fertilized egg to the uterus, where it will implant in the woman’s body.
A single implant is enough to produce a baby.
“The Fertility Revolution” found that many providers are offering ART without adequate patient access or funding, and the report found that the majority of providers are only willing to provide ART if they receive state funding for it.
“While many providers remain committed to providing ART to women in need, the majority are unable to provide adequate clinical care for patients who request it,” said Sara B. Johnson, director of the Center’s Center for Reproductive Health Policy and Advocacy.
“We found that a large percentage of providers in Texas have been unable to meet their own funding and delivery system needs.
In many cases, providers have had to turn to private providers for their services, which have resulted in significant shortages of quality reproductive health care.”
The report found more than 60 percent of the providers surveyed did not have a clinical nurse-in-charge to provide care to patients who want ART, and nearly a quarter of them were unable to pay their staff.
“Many providers are not equipped to provide high-quality reproductive health services for patients with limited financial resources,” said Burt Loomis, the report’s author and an associate professor of health policy at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
“These providers often have limited capacity to provide these services, and their failure to meet basic quality measures is indicative of inadequate services and a lack of care.”
Johnson and her colleagues also found that Texas has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancies in the nation.
While the overall number of unintended births decreased during the year, the number of pregnancies for women who did not get an abortion was more than triple that of women who got one.
The most common reason women forgo abortion is because of financial reasons.
A 2015 study from the Center on Women’s Health and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that women in the United States who were not pregnant and who did have an abortion were more likely to use contraception than women who were.
The authors of the report also found the most common reasons for not having an abortion include a lack, a fear of being found out and financial concerns.
“Some providers may be unwilling to offer ART without sufficient patient access to pay for it, and there may be a lack in the supply of providers to provide it,” Johnson said.
“The Fertilization Revolution” is part of a larger report titled “The Future of Reproductive Care” released Tuesday by STAT and the Center.