Updated Definition of Infertility Addresses Broad Spectrum of Family Building Journeys

Jan 24, 2024


Alto Pharmacy

LGBTQ+ parents with baby
LGBTQ+ parents with baby
LGBTQ+ parents with baby

This fall, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) redefined infertility to encompass the full spectrum of people who require medical assistance to build a family.

ASRM now defines infertility as a “disease, condition, or status” characterized by either of the following criteria:

  • The inability to achieve a successful pregnancy based on a patient’s medical, sexual, and reproductive history, age, physical findings, diagnostic testing, or any combination of those factors.

  • The need for medical intervention, including, but not limited to, the use of donor gametes or donor embryos in order to achieve a successful pregnancy either as an individual or with a partner.

Previously, infertility was defined as the inability of a person with female reproductive anatomy to become pregnant after 6-12 months of unprotected sex with a person with male reproductive anatomy. ASRM’s recommended timeline for seeking a fertility evaluation after struggling to conceive naturally remains unchanged: after 12 months of unprotected sex if the female partner is under 35 and after six months of unprotected sex if the female partner is 35 or older.

In recognizing that there are many causes of reproductive challenges — and many reasons a person may need fertility treatment or reproductive care to become a parent — the updated language is inclusive of LBGTQ+ couples and single parents. Health experts hope that the new definition will address inequities in access to reproductive medicine.

“This revised definition reflects that all persons, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity, deserve equal access to reproductive medicine. This inclusive definition helps ensure that anyone seeking to build a family has equitable access to infertility treatment and care,” Dr. Jared Robins, CEO of ASRM, said in a news release.

Sexual orientation remains a barrier to insurance coverage of fertility treatment, even as more members of the LGBTQ+ community choose to have children than ever before. Of the states that require workplace health insurance plans to include some coverage of reproductive services, not all have laws inclusive of aspiring LGBTQ+ parents. The updated definition of infertility is an important step toward real progress.

LGBTQ+ family building resources from Alto Pharmacy

At Alto, we recognize the broad spectrum of family building journeys and needs. Our content library includes resources specifically designed for members of the LGBTQ+ community:

A Guide to LGBTQ+ Family Building Options
Fertility Options for Transgender and Nonbinary Individuals
LGBTQ+ Family Building Options: A Closer Look at Reciprocal IVF

Understanding your fertility insurance coverage

We’re here to support you through every aspect of fertility treatment, including financial planning and insurance navigation. Since fertility benefits can vary widely from one plan to another, it can be difficult to determine your specific coverage details. That’s why we’ve created a resource with helpful information on fertility benefits, including a glossary of key insurance terms, tips for reviewing coverage details, and a note-taking template. View it here.

And if you learn that you do not have insurance coverage of fertility medications, we have additional resources to help you compare the costs of cash pricing, learn about financing options, or apply for assistance programs.

The fertility pharmacy partner you deserve

Alto’s fertility pharmacy care includes:

  • Temperature-controlled packaging that holds refrigerated medications at the right temperature the entire time they are in transit

  • Access to fertility-trained pharmacists and resources including injection training guides

  • Transparent pricing and support with savings

  • An easy-to-use app for all medication management, from delivery scheduling to refill tracking and more

Interested in learning more about how Alto can support your fertility journey? Request a price quote online or reach out through secure in-app messaging.

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.