CDC, Aetna Launch Infertility Education Series for Patients and Families

ATLANTA – Reproductive health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have launched three new online videos to provide science-based information for anyone considering Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). ART services are infertility treatments including in vitro fertilization (IVF). The videos provide information about steps people can take before beginning treatment to improve their chances of getting pregnant and having healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. The videos were made possible by a grant from Aetna to the CDC Foundation.

"Infertility is common in the U.S.," says Maurizio Macaluso, M.D., Dr.P.H., chief of CDC's Women's Health and Fertility Branch. "Each year, about 7 million couples will cope with some form of infertility. While the science of treating infertility has expanded, consumers do not always have access to accurate and relevant information to help guide their treatment decisions. The CDC Foundation has continued to help CDC move science into the community. In this case, we could provide videos and materials to help people make sound decisions as they try to overcome infertility."

The three videos feature remarks from national reproductive health experts as well as testimonials from families who used ART to conceive. The first video focuses on the importance of good health habits that can increase the likelihood of success of infertility treatments and ultimately the outcomes of pregnancy. A second video explains how to evaluate fertility clinics using CDC's ART Success Rates Report . The report provides information on the types of ART services offered by more than 400 fertility clinics throughout the U.S. and their comparative success rates.

The third video provides information about elective single embryo transfer (eSET), an option where only one embryo is transferred during an ART cycle. Research shows that multiple births (i.e., the birth of twins, triplets or more) can cause health problems for the mother and/or her babies, including preterm delivery and low birth weight. For some women, eSET presents the best chance of a successful ART treatment resulting in pregnancy and the birth of a single healthy baby. The video discusses eSET as an option that should be considered before beginning ART treatment.

"Research tells us that many women commonly under appreciate the risk of multiple births and learn about infertility options only as they receive treatment. We want to give women the tools and information they need before conception, so they have the opportunity to talk with their doctors and to make decisions that are best for them," says Joanne Armstrong, M.D., senior medical director and head of Women's Health at Aetna.

The videos, along with questions patients can ask their doctors, are available online at and

ART has been used in the U.S. since 1981 to help women become pregnant, most commonly through IVF. The use of ART has doubled over the past decade, and today, more than 1 percent of all infants born in the U.S. every year are conceived using ART. This project can ultimately help families, friends and others understand the many decisions facing someone who is preparing for ART or other infertility treatments.


About the CDC Foundation
Established by Congress, the CDC Foundation helps the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do more, faster, by forging effective partnerships between CDC and corporations, foundations, organizations and individuals to fight threats to health and safety. The CDC Foundation manages approximately 200 programs in the United States and in countries around the world. Each of our programs involves a talented team of CDC experts and at least one outside funding partner and addresses a public health problem of concern to CDC. Learn more at

About Aetna
Aetna is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 35.8 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. For more information, see