Infertility has become an important public health issue, with over 12% of the U.S.
population being affected. Moreover, the role of race and ethnicity has become increasingly
recognized as an important contributor to health outcomes. Despite in vitro fertilization (IVF)
playing a significant role in helping many women achieve their reproductive goals, data show
disparities in IVF outcomes among racial and ethnic minority groups. This review examines the
literature on disparities in IVF outcomes among black, Asian, and Hispanic women. Data analyzed
show that black and Asian women have decreased clinical pregnancy and live-birth rates compared
to white women and increased rates of pregnancy loss and fetal growth restriction. While consistent
findings have not been identified among Hispanic women, likely due to inadequate studies among
Hispanic women, limited epidemiologic data suggest decreased clinical pregnancy and live-birth
rates among Hispanic women, while clinic based studies show no differences in outcomes when
compared to white women. The biological plausibility associated with these disparate outcomes
suggests a role for obesity, fibroids, and impaired endometrial hormonal milieu affecting outcomes
among black women, while variation in ovarian reserve and endometrial hormonal milieu may
contribute to poorer outcomes among Asian women.
Keywords: In vitro fertilization (IVF), disparities, fibroids, minorities, race, ethnicity.
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