AMA Adopts ASRM Sponsored Resolution to Designate Infertility a Disease

The American Medical Association House of Delegates adopted a resolution authored by ASRM to follow the WHO in their designation of infertility as a disease. This is an important part of our Access to Care efforts and should help us as we argue for equitable treatment of infertility by insurance companies and governments.

The ASRM resolution was co-sponsored by ACOG, AUA, the Endocrine Society and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Our efforts to secure passage were led by our AMA delegation, Julia Johnson, MD, Eric Levens, MD, Rashmi Kudesia, MD, with the support of ASRM President-Elect Christos Coutifaris, MD, PhD who also attended the meeting in Chicago.

The story from AMA News is below. It can be found online

AMA NEWS: AMA backs global health experts in calling infertility a disease

JUN 13, 2017

Sara Berg
Senior Staff Writer

More than one in eight couples of childbearing age have difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts at

the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) have designated infertility a disease.

Delegates at the 2017 AMA Annual Meeting voted in support of WHO’s designation of infertility as a disease. The declaration could have a broader impact on how patients, insurers and society conceive of and act with regard to infertility.

Many factors at play

Causes of infertility are present in both men and women, with about 40 percent of all infertile couples demonstrating a combination of factors. And in about 15 percent of couples, no physiological dysfunction can be identified, making a definite diagnosis difficult. Infertility in both men and women leads to a decline in many quality-of-life metrics, including depression, shame, guilt, inadequacy and social isolation. Early treatment of infertility improves these metrics and the overall prospects of pregnancy, according to data provided in the resolution adopted by the AMA House of Delegates (HOD).

Infertility affects 15 percent of couples and is recognized as a complex disease by WHO and ASRM. Some of the largest health insurance companies in the U.S., including Cigna, Optum Health and Aetna, cover some treatments. However, not all insurance companies cover treatment.
Delegates offered unanimous reference-committee testimony supportive of designating infertility as a disease state with an emphasis on how this would promote insurance coverage and payment. Many cited experience in treating couples with infertility and noted complicated testing and treatments as well as the stigma associated with the situation.

The HOD adopted policy supporting WHO’s designation of infertility as a disease state with multiple etiologies requiring a range of interventions to advance fertility treatment and prevention.

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