Health systems doubling down on ramping up their fertility services

Steven Loeb · March 25, 2024 · Short URL:

Mayo Clinic, CommonSpirit Health, and Mount Sinai are among those partnered with fertility startups

Infertility is defined as being unable to get pregnant after one year of unprotected sex for women under 35 years of age, or 6 months in women 35 years and older. About 11% of women and 9% of men of childbearing age have infertility issues in the United States and the total fertility rate worldwide has dropped by nearly 1% per year from 1960 to 2018, which is more than 10% per decade and more than 50% over 50 years.

There are a number of reasons why this might be happening, chief among them is that women are having children later, with the median age at which women gave birth in the United States increasing from 27 in 1990 to 30 in 2019. In that same time, fertility rates of women ages 20 to 24 declined by 43%, while those of women ages 35 to 39 increased by 67% during the roughly 30-year period. 

It could also be a product of the way we live now. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), lifestyle factors that can affect fertility in both sexes are nutrition, weight, and exercise; physical and psychological stress; environmental and occupational exposures; substance and drug use and abuse; and medications.

Whatever the reasons, as couples increasingly struggle, fertility has become big business, with the market size in the U.S. alone expected to grow to $8.69 billion by 2033, up from $5.34 billion in 2023.

There are a number of solutions that have entered the market to address the problem, and a number of health system have also begun to stress it as well, signing partnerships with a number of those companies. 

For example, Cedars-Sinai, which serves more than 1 million people each year in over 40 locations, with more than 4,500 physicians and nurses, and 1,500 research projects, partnered with Tia in 2023 with the goal of expanding access to primary and specialty care for women across Los Angeles. Tia provides what it calls a, “Whole Woman, Whole Life” care model that includes both virtual and in-person services. It provides primary care, mental health, and gynecological care, along with wellness services, such as acupuncture, for its members.

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