Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Infertility Defined as a Disease

Thanks to Pamela Tsigdinos author of Silent Sorority, I found this article on ASRM.

The World Health Organization has defined infertility as a disease.

Here is a portion of the press release.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies released a new international glossary of ART terminology. Appearing simultaneously in the journals Fertility and Sterility and Human Reproduction, the glossary is an important step towards developing common nomenclature and understanding in assisted reproduction.

Significantly the glossary defines infertility itself as “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.” This recognition from WHO of infertility as a disease represents a significant milestone for the condition.

What a monumental victory to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the public, health care providers, and numerous other venues of society.

A great step in the right direction for further support of the indelible condition of infertility.


Alena said...

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Clare said...

Hopefully this means more insurance companies will have to cover infertility treatments. I am glad you posted this - thanks!

Michelle said...

I'm hoping that this means mine and my husbands treatments won't be considered "cosmetic" or "elective" anymore.

Leah said...

That is a wonderful step in the right direction. IF IS a disease, no doubt about it. I remember hearing that infertility is AS stressful as cancer. Although I've never experienced cancer, I know the stress of IF, and it's devastating.

Now that it's classified as a disease, maybe insurance companies will actually start covering treatments.

Hurdles of Life said...

I am so happy you posted this! I typically forget to pass on my knowledge of "research" (my career is as a paralegal so legal reserach is part of that) into interfility and laws covering it.

Anyway, (I'll have to post about this) there was a recent suit (Hall v. Nalco, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit) which protects women from being fired for infertility treatments.

Infertility and there treatment thereof is also covered under the PDA (Pregnancy Discrimination Act) and the ADA (Americans with Disablities Act).

Some people may also qualify for FMLA (if their company meets the minimum number of employees and other guidelines mandating FMLA), in pursuing Infertility Treatments.

xoxox Maddie

Geochick said...

Thanks for posting this information.

Pamela said...

Thanks for the shout out, Erica. I was as surprised as you were to find out this was such a belated recognition!

Wendy said...

This is a HUGE step. I agree with Clare - maybe more insurance companies will cover it.
Thanks for posting it!

Anonymous said...


Alana said...

AWESOME news! Thanks for sharing this information and the link to the article.

Kristin said...

Woohoo...this is good news.


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