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Fighting the Stigma: African American Infertility

March 30, 2018
Katie Visco

Infertility is never an easy situation to go through. It can be stressful, painful and expensive. For African American women, there is an added factor of stigma and embarrassment, and it needs to end. 

According to Fertility for Colored Girls, here are the top reasons why colored women don't seek treatment:

  • Lack of emotional support
  • Cost and access to infertility support services
  • Lack of education and awareness

And the number one reason is shame and fear. Infertility rates are higher for certain ethnic groups, but no one is talks about it. Women need to be educated about their bodies, and we shouldn't be ashamed of them. Colored women have a higher chance of dealing with uterine fibroids, blocked fallopian tubes, obesity and advanced age, specifically women over 35. The issue with age is that, the longer you wait, the higher chance of something going wrong. This applies to everyone.

Infertility is already stigmatized and suffering in silence doesn't make the pain any easier to deal with. Shame and fear carry an immense weight on women. It is usually assumed that all women can carry a child, and no one wants to feel like the outsider. As we all know, that is far from true. 

Dr. Desiree McCarthy-Keith is one of the front advocates for ending the stigma of infertility in African American women. She is an African American reproductive endocrinologist, one of the few in the country. McCarthy-Keith was named Black Health Magazine's Most Influential African American Doctors. 

She also wrote the book, "Hold On To Hope, Stories of Black Women's Fertility, Faith and Fight to Become Mommies" and is the founder of "Fertility for Colored Girls." In other words, she is a wonderful source of information and she is doing everything she can to change society's views.

Her blog, Fertility for Colored Girls, and Broken Brown Egg are blogs made for African American women going through infertility issues. These blogs are fighting to end the stigma and for you to know that you are not alone. Don't be ashamed, it will get in the way for seeking the treatment you need and deserve.


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