Nearly 30% of Fertility Patients Waited Too Long Before Seeking Help
(Purchase, NY) Findings from a Fertility Patient Survey conducted by Attain Fertility Centers show that nearly 30% of fertility patients waited 2 or more years before seeing a fertility specialist, which for many is too long. The clinical definition of infertility is a person under the age of 35 who has been trying, unsuccessfully, to get pregnant for more than 12 months; or a person 35 or older who has been trying, unsuccessfully, to get pregnant for more than 6 months.
The survey, conducted in summer of 2010, chronicles fertility patients’ decision-making process, including when they realize they may have a fertility problem, what criteria they use to select and evaluate fertility clinics, how they search for information and how they pay for treatment. Nearly 7,200 fertility patients participated in the survey, making it the most comprehensive study of its kind.
“What the study shows us is the tremendous need for fertility education,” says Maureen Gill Higgins, RN, MSN, WHNP and Director of Clinical Operations at Attain Fertility Centers. “A significant percentage of patients are waiting too long to see a specialist. We don’t want anyone to wait two years or more. The sooner a fertility specialist finds and addresses any problems, the faster a patient can move along the path to becoming a parent. It’s all about early intervention.”
In response to the survey insights, Attain Fertility has launched an educational initiative called the Great Expectations Fertility Trivia Challenge (http://attainfertility.com/challenge). Participants can return every day through the end of the promotion to answer a new fertility question and be entered for a chance to win a prize. Each question includes a “hint” button that links to an information source with the correct answer.
“We already have an informational website, a thriving community on Facebook with over 10,000 fans as well as our Attain Fertility blog, YouTube channel and Twitter following. The Great Expectations Fertility Trivia Challenge is intended to round out our outreach in an innovative way that’s fun and highly-engaging,” explains Higgins. “We want to reach as many potential parents as possible while encouraging them to be proactive when it comes to their reproductive health.”
Other noteworthy insights from the survey include the fact that nearly two-thirds of the fertility patients self-diagnosed their fertility issues while only about one-third were diagnosed by a healthcare professional. And of those surveyed who did not go through fertility treatment, two-thirds cited their decision not to seek treatment was based on an assumption that the cost of fertility treatment would be prohibitive.
The findings of the Fertility Patient Survey clearly indicate the strong need for clear and accessible fertility information, including when to seek help and the financial impact of treatment options.
“There are many underlying causes for infertility issues. Some are easily treated while others require more in depth treatment. By identifying knowledge gaps and understanding patients’ decision-making processes, we’re better able to provide education and support services that better fit their needs,” concludes Higgins.
The Great Expectations Fertility Trivia Challenge runs through January 31, 2011. Attain Fertility will be giving away 25 Kindles® as well as a $1,000 Grand Prize.
About IntegraMed America, Inc.
IntegraMed® America, Inc. manages highly specialized outpatient facilities in emerging, technology-based, niche medical markets and is the leading manager of fertility centers and vein clinics in the United States. IntegraMed supports its provider networks with clinical and business information systems, marketing and sales, facilities and operations management, finance and accounting, human resources, legal, risk management and quality assurance services. Attain Fertility Centers, an IntegraMed Specialty, is the nation's largest fertility network, comprised of 42 contracted centers with over 130 locations in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly one of every four IVF procedures in the U.S. is performed in an IntegraMed network fertility practice. Vein Clinics of America, an IntegraMed Specialty, is the leading provider of varicose vein care services in the US, currently operating 36 centers in 13 states, principally in the Midwest and Southeast.
For information please visit: http://attainfertility.com/ for fertility, or http://veinclinics.com/ for vein care.