Today the CDC’s Division on Reproductive Health announced a draft version of a white paper entitled “A National Public Health Action Plan for the Detection, Prevention, and Management of Infertility” is now available for comment.
First, the white paper seeks to define infertility as a major public health problem. Is it? I understand why CDC is arguing that it is, but really, compared to say HIV infection or influenza, does infertility really count? The proposed plan addresses three elements of infertility for both men and women: its detection, prevention and management. The paper states “given the public health focus of this action plan, promoting healthy pregnancy outcomes associated with treating and managing infertility is also important, as is improving the efficacy and safety of infertility treatment.” This seems like a balanced approach.
I’m eager to hear the perspectives of my colleagues in reproductive medicine and ethics on this one. Is infertility a public health problem and is CDC on the right track for how to address it?
Summer Johnson McGee, PhD