Race, culture, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES) all influence how men and women cope with cancer-related infertility and whether they use infertility services. Unfortunately, these variables have not yet been studied in samples of cancer survivors. This article provides an overview of Medline-cited studies from 1980 to the present that examine the influence of ethnicity and socioeconomic status on the use of infertility services. Although underserved groups are disproportionately at risk for infertility in the United States, they are also less likely than middle- to high-SES Caucasians to seek medical treatment for this problem. Barriers to their use of infertility treatment include lack of knowledge, lack of financial resources, and cultural norms. It is very important for oncology care providers to take ethnicity and SES into account when counseling patients about infertility and to be aware of cultural and religious values with regard to assisted reproductive technology.

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