Disparities in Infertility: Does Low-Income Really Make a Difference?
Adrienne L. Riegle, Iowa State University
Research on infertility has increased significantly in recent decades. However, previous studies have focused almost exclusively on middle and upper-class women, despite higher rates of infertility among low-income and non-White women. Using data from the National Survey of Fertility Barriers (NSFB), a newly-released, nationwide probability sample of U.S. childbearing-aged women, this study examines how poverty status shapes women’s likelihood of medical helpseeking for infertility (i.e. self-identifying fertility problems and talking to a medical provider about ways to have a baby). The NSFB is well-suited for studying women across the socioeconomic spectrum as it extends beyond clinic-based samples and contains an oversample of non-White women. Using a categorical income variable based on poverty status, income differences are examined in the first steps toward medical helpseeking including self-identification and talking with a medical provider. Initial findings reveal significant differences in medical helpseeking for infertility by income status.