Disparities Seen in Geographic Access to Fertility Preservation

Authors say this lack of access impacts ability to provide comprehensive oncology services
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Medically Reviewed By:
Meeta Shah, M.D.

TUESDAY, Aug. 15, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- More than 3 million reproductive-age females lack geographic access to centers capable of offering fertility preservation (FP) services, according to a study published online Aug. 10 in JAMA Oncology.

Benjamin J. Peipert, M.D., from Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues examined the geographic distribution of U.S. centers offering FP services to identify disparities in access to oncofertility care. Analysis included 456 centers reporting data to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2018 Fertility Clinic Success Rates Report.

The researchers found that 3.63 million reproductive-age female individuals (5.70 percent) lack geographic access to an oncofertility center. Highest geographic access rates were seen in states with FP mandates (98.54 percent), while states without active or pending legislation have the lowest rates (79.57 percent). The Mountain West and West North Central regions had the greatest concentration of disparities in geographic access.

"Fertility preservation is a critical part of comprehensive cancer and survivorship care. However, significant barriers exist to effective oncofertility care," the authors write. "The demand for oncofertility services will continue to grow in the coming years, and the supply of clinicians, laboratory facilities, and clinics will need to grow to match this expansion."

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