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    Black Women: Fault Lines Between Racism And Infertility

    FAULT LINES BETWEEN RACISM AND INFERTILITYFor Black women, infertility is the elephant in the room. There isn’t enough care and attention for Black women who have difficulty conceiving. There are barriers, of course, so let’s discuss them. Various sources report stories from Black women stating that getting infertility treatment is an uphill battle.

    Most women plan their lives to center around being a mother at some point. But for African American women those dreams can easily diminish when conceiving is a hurdle and prejudice physicians are numerous. According to Stat News, 12% of women of reproductive age have impaired fertility. Black women may be twice as likely to suffer from infertility issues than white women. Since infertility is so taboo in black communities, there are lack of reports from these women. Dr. Yetunde Ibrahim, a reproductive endocrinologist and assistant professor in women’s health at The University of Texas Health Center in San Antonio,

    “African American women have been significantly underrepresented, making it challenging to determine exact rates. The rates could be twice as high for African American women or even higher.”

    Black Women, Discrimination and Infertility

    Systematic racism is a major factor, as most of the African American community distrusts American medical practices. Seeking infertility help is isolating as most Black couples rarely see other African American couples at clinics. Because African American women carry shame with not being able to conceive, most suffer in silence. According to CDC, Black women are three times more likely to fall victim to maternal mortality than white women. There are social determinants that definitely prevent women of color from having fair opportunities for physical, emotional and economic health.

    Thanks to Michele Obama’s NYT Bestseller, Becoming, more women now have a safe space to share their misfortunes of infertility. Obama’s personal journey about seeking IVF treatment for both daughters, Sasha and Malia, is the door opener for other Black women to seek help.

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