Limitations and barriers in access to care for male factor infertility
Male infertility is underrepresented as a disease. Acknowledging and addressing the barriers in access to care for male infertility is necessary for improving reproductive care and outcomes in the United States.
Akanksha Mehta, M.D., Ajay K. Nangia, M.B.B.S., James M. Dupree, M.D., M.P.H., James F. Smith, M.D., M.S.
Volume 105, Issue 5, Pages 1128-1137
The primary challenge to identifying and addressing barriers in access to care for male factor infertility is accurate measurement of the prevalence of male infertility. Current estimates are based on couples pursuing assisted reproduction, and likely underestimate the problem. These estimates also fail to account for the number of patients facing infertility due to cancer or cancer treatment. Lack of health insurance coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of infertility presents a major barrier for couples struggling with infertility. However, it is not the only barrier. Education level, household income, cultural norms, religious beliefs, geographic location, and the availability of specialty-trained reproductive urologists are all important factors in determining the ease with which patients access and obtain infertility care. Addressing each of these obstacles directly is imperative to improving reproductive care and outcomes for infertile couples in the United States.