Infertility: For many in Maine, cost of treatment a barrier

“Check the stats. Infertility is becoming an epidemic.” So says one signer of an online petition to advance legislation that would mandate Maine health insurance providers to cover costs of infertility treatment, an effort that began in 2003 and has been recently reignited.

While not an epidemic per se, infertility is a challenging medical condition effecting 1 in 6 couples. And, contrary to traditional assumptions, infertility is not exclusively a female condition. Male and female factors causing infertility are about equal, and one third of infertility cases are from unknown factors.

Having to personally shoulder the cost of treatment, increases the need for couples in non-mandated states to choose infertility specialists with significant experience and specialized expertise. More options are becoming available in the state.

One example is the clinical collaboration between Portland-based Women’s Wellness Comprehensive Care and the Reproductive Science Center of New England (RSC).

Reproductive Endocrinologist and RSC Associate Medical Director, Dr. Isaac Glatstein, is now seeing patients in Portland who have been unsuccessful with other infertility interventions and need to move on to in vitro fertilization (IVF).

While newly affiliated with Dr. Ann Rainville’s Women’s Wellness, Dr. Glatstein and Reproductive Science Center have been providing IVF services for Maine residents for nearly 20 years. During that time, Dr. Glatstein and RSC have helped hundreds of Maine couples become parents.

“We are excited to ensure access to the very best in infertility care for Maine residents,” states Dr. Rainville. “Women’s Wellness and RSC have a shared vision of providing personalized, sensitive care, focused on meeting the unique needs of each patient,” explains Dr. Glatstein.

Maine patients will continue to enjoy access to infertility care locally at the 535 Ocean Ave. office of Women’s Wellness in Portland. Dr. Rainville provides intrauterine insemination and fertility monitoring procedures. If and when in vitro fertilization (IVF) services are recommended, patients will still be seen in Portland by Dr. Glatstein. Egg retrieval and embryo transfer procedures are conducted at the RSC facilities in Lexington.

“Our partnership allows us to deliver the large majority of infertility medical care locally in Maine, while limiting a patient’s travel to Lexington for IVF procedures. We are confident that Maine patients will find this model convenient and user-friendly,” states Dr. Glatstein.

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