There are plenty of challenges facing American women, but one that hasn’t gotten enough attention from the federal government is infertility.
Renowned fertility expert Dr. John Zhang, who runs the New Hope Fertility Clinic in New York City, said that while infertility is rampant in the U.S., there’s still no government support to fund costly fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
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“Ninety percent of couples who need IVF give up because it is costly and they don’t have an insurance company who covers the treatment, ” Zhang said Wednesday at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego, Calif. IVF treatments cost an average of $12,000 and the necessary accompanying medications cost another $3,000 to $5,000.
Even though millions of babies have been born using IVF, it is still considered experimental by the government, Zhang added. Since the first IVF baby was born in 1978, all of the money that has gone into researching the treatment has been privately funded.
Beyond funding, Zhang envisions a future where women are taking preventative steps in their fertility. “Ladies ages 25 to 35 should freeze their eggs if they don’t have plans to have a family in the next five to ten years,” Zhang said.