Income level and education do not have an impact on long-term reproductive outcomes for couples undergoing infertility care

Washington, D.C.- Researchers presenting at this year’s 2020 Scientific Congress have found that socioeconomic status does not negatively impact long-term outcomes in infertile couples seeking to expand their families. In this long-term follow-up of the randomized controlled trial, a survey was administered to couples who were enrolled in the Fast Track and Treatment Trial (FASTT), which investigated time to conception of conventional treatment for unexplained infertility versus a fast track approach in women ages 21-39 years.  

The distribution of reported annual household income among participating couples was 32.5% ≥$140,000, 28.3% $100,000-139,999, 31.5% $60,000-99,999, and 5.6% <$60,000. The distribution of the highest level of education of female participants was 1.8% high school diploma, 7.8% associate’s degree, 7.8% some college education but no degree, 44.8% bachelor’s degree, 28.3% master’s degree, and 9.5% medical degree/doctorate.  

In the follow-up analysis of FASTT, researchers found no statistically significant differences by income or level of education in the number of couples who attempted conception, achieved a clinical pregnancy or live birth, or reported ultimate family building satisfaction. In addition, there were also no statistically significant differences among groups of different income or education levels in the number of couples who attempted spontaneous conception after participating in FASTT, controlled ovarian hyperstimulation +/- intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization with autologous or donor oocytes, or who adopted children. 

“The findings of the FASTT follow-up study of insurance coverage for infertile couples looking to expand their families. Given many women obtain their insurance coverage through large self-insured employers, under Federal Law, these plans are exempt from states mandating fertility care. That said, while some families are fortunate to benefit from states who have passed such mandates, we know there’s much more to be done to get all Americans health insurance and that insurance must cover reproductive medical services for all.” Said Richard Reindollar author and former ASRM CEO. 

For almost a century, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) has been the global leader in multidisciplinary reproductive medicine research, ethical practice, and education. ASRM impacts reproductive care and science worldwide by creating funding opportunities for advancing reproduction research and discovery, by providing evidence-based education and public health information, and by advocating for reproductive health care professionals and the patients they serve. With members in more than 100 countries, the Society is headquartered in Washington, DC, with additional operations in Birmingham, AL.

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