Using fertility testing to grow a family

Infertility is a common problem for both men and women. About 9% of men and 11% of women of reproductive age in the United States have experienced fertility issues. Infertility is evenly distributed, with one-third of men and one-third of women affected.

Conception is a complex process, and many factors can affect the outcome, including age, medical conditions and hormones. Fortunately, medical and diagnostic advances in infertility tests and treatments create more opportunities for physicians working with patients experiencing fertility challenges to support family creation.

The extent and impact of infertility

Estimates suggest that between 48 million couples and 186 million individuals of reproductive age worldwide live with infertility. Infertility affects 6.7 million women in the US And infertility affects not only the patients who experience it, but also their families and communities because of the additional stress and hardship it brings. Several factors affect fertility, and 25% of infertile couples have more than one factor that contributes to their infertility. These factors create additional complications for providers that help patients navigate their journeys to parenthood.

While 85-90 percent of infertility cases can be treated with conventional medical therapies such as medication or surgery, the road to a treatment plan is not that simple. Many factors contribute to inequalities in effective fertility treatments. There is limited access to IVF and fertility testing services in the US, with only 24 percent of the needs for assisted reproductive technology being provided.

While assisted reproductive technology has made great strides, the cost of care remains one of the biggest barriers to access to fertility care. More often than not, fertility services are not covered by public or private insurers, and most patients pay out of pocket for fertility treatment. The average cost of one cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF), the most common type of assisted reproductive technology, is currently around $ 12,000. LGBTQ patients face a greater number of barriers to fertility care as they do not meet the definitions of “infertility” does not meet what they would require for covered services by insurance.

To bridge the gap and create greater access to fertility care, some CLIA-FDA-accredited laboratories deliver a series of fertility and IVF tests directly to the homes of patients they meet where they are, empowering them to take control about their own health care. Time is an important factor with fertility care, so access to reliable, accurate and timely test results from a diagnostic partner is essential for patients.

Infertility can have a ripple effect that includes mental health and financial status. A study found that 25-60% of infertile couples experience psychiatric problems. Typically, over time, women felt more dissatisfied with infertility than men and were also more likely to develop anxiety and depression due to infertility.

The journey to conception for individuals and couples with infertility is typically long and winding, with several unknowns – and no clear path defined, as each journey is different. The ability of healthcare providers to use accurate, sophisticated and timely diagnostic tests for infertility patients is a crucial part of the patient journey.

Manage the impact of infertility with testing

Fertility testing can take place at any stage of a patient’s journey. Some patients are curious about their chances of getting pregnant in the future, while others use fertility tests to detect problems after trying to conceive for months or years. There are a plethora of tests available for healthcare providers that can help them figure out how to treat infertility problems. Fertility clinicians and other healthcare practitioners can perform several tests to determine a woman’s reproductive health and fertility potential – from pelvic ultrasound to standard ovulation.

One of those tests, the Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) test, is attracting more interest and gaining momentum among medical professionals.

AMH test

For women, regular testing of the AMH level can provide useful information about a woman’s ability to produce viable eggs for fertilization. An AMH test checks the health and amount of a woman’s ovarian reserve, which is useful for a woman’s fertility journey. A survey of 796 infertility clinics worldwide, representing nearly 600,000 IVF cycles, indicated that 60% reported testing AMH first.

These tests can provide timely and accurate results for women who want to understand their AMH level, while helping healthcare providers determine the best way forward.

Semen analysis

For men, semen analysis is a useful and simple way to have a more informed conversation between patient and doctor. Semen analysis makes it possible to understand the shape, count, size and overall composition of a man’s sperm, which is an important factor in determining fertility potential.

Increased contemporary testing options such as sperm testing at home can create a more accessible and comfortable environment for men to obtain important information for their fertility journey. A home semen analysis test helps men determine if they are medically fit for reproduction based on the score and quality of their sperm.

Access to partners to support infertility testing

The US laboratory test market is approaching $ 80 billion. For specific fertility treatments, the global fertility market is expected to grow from $ 14.27 billion in 2020 to $ 21.7 billion in 2025. Declining fertility rates around the world will continue to drive growth in the infertility space, creating widespread demand and continued progress in fertility testing. a key component. To have an awareness of and access to fertility testing partners can reduce the complexity and distress that infertility can have on individuals and couples and serve as a useful tool for healthcare providers navigating the fertility journey with the patient / s. It is important for healthcare providers to find a test partner who liver reliable, accurate and timely test results, and all this while serving as a collaborator through the intricate and unique fertility journey.

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