Increasing access to fertility care through private foundations

Private foundations are one mechanism of increasing access to infertility care; however, heterogeneity exists in the populations served and the services available for grant support by these foundations.

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Volume 111, Issue 6, Pages 1211–1216


Benjamin J. Peipert, B.A., Jacqueline C. Hairston, M.D., Dana B. McQueen, M.D., M.A.S., Camille Hammond, M.D., Eve C. Feinberg, M.D.



To characterize the available support for infertility treatment and populations served by private foundations across the United States.


Web-based cross-sectional survey.


Private foundations providing financial assistance for infertility treatment.


Not applicable.



Main Outcome Measure(s)

Geographies and populations served, dollar-amount and scope of financial assistance provided by private foundations for individuals seeking financial assistance for infertility treatment.


Thirty-seven private foundations were identified, 25 responded (68% response rate). More than one-half of the foundations had awarded grants to lesbian, gay, and transgender individuals, as well as single men and women. Forty percent of the foundations serve only a single state or geographic region. Foundations have provided 9,996 grants for infertility treatment, 1,740 in 2016 alone, with an average value of $8,191 per grant. The Livestrong foundation has provide more than 90% of these grants, and only to patients with a history of cancer. Twelve percent of foundations provide assistance for fertility preservation in patients with cancer, and 20% provide assistance for elective oocyte cryopreservation.


Private foundations significantly increase access to infertility care for individuals and couples affected by cancer who could otherwise not afford treatment. Significant heterogeneity exists regarding the populations served and the services available for grant support by these foundations, and the landscape of options for patients unaffected by cancer is severely limited.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.