33 Years Later: The Diminishing Stigma of Infertility TreatmentNovember 20, 2014
In 1981, the first “test tube” baby was born in the United States through use of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF.) In the 33 years since Elizabeth Jordan Carr was born, fertility testing and treatment has come a long way, with significant improvement in success rates, range of options and overall patient experience. Fertility specialists have worked hard to provide their patients Family Building options, and to create a more calming, less stressful environment. A significant part of this mission has included reducing the stigma couples have faced in the decades since Elizabeth Jordan Carr’s birth.
Just as tremendous progress has taken place with fertility treatments, the stigma against those with an infertility diagnosis has also lessened somewhat. Back in 1981, when IVF was brand new to most of the world and the entire concept still seemed highly futuristic, an infertility diagnosis was the end of the road for those who wished to have a child to whom they were genetically related. This changed when IVF babies like Elizabeth Jordan Carr were born – Carr was the fifteenth person to be born using this procedure. Suddenly, couples were aware that there was another way to have a baby outside of natural conception or adoption.
As with many new medical procedures, when IVF and successful reproductive technologies were introduced, people were skeptical. Most understood that assisted reproductive technology had the capacity to help those facing infertility to have a child, but the notion of in vitro fertilization being responsible for human life was entirely groundbreaking. There was some resistance to IVF, which fueled a stigma that followed previously infertile parents and their new children. Thankfully, as use of IVF and similar technology became more mainstream, suspicions began to diminish. IVF, IUI or AI, sperm donor, egg donor and surrogacy have all become part of today’s family planning conversation. Now infertile and LGBTQ couples and individuals are able to pursue these family building options every day across most of the world.
Even with this growth, however, there is still room for improvement. Not every state in the U.S. provides a range of fertility care for patients, and even fewer allow legal options for compensated surrogacy. Insurance coverage for fertility care is still generally unavailable for many, although practices like Fertility Solutions offer patients affordable financial packages and discounts to help ensure that everyone who wishes to have a child is able to do so.
If you are looking to support couples and individuals in need of fertility treatment, Fertility Solutions recommends that you write your state representative and advocate for fertility insurance coverage. Companies such as Facebook and Apple have promised to cover costs associated with fertility care, but the vast majority of American employers have yet to follow their lead.blog comments powered by Disqus Previous Next