Inequality in Infertility

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When it comes to infertility, Black women are underserved even though they are nearly twice as likely to experience fertility issues compared to White women. Specifically, 48% of Black women may suffer from infertility, versus 31% of White women. Unfortunately, Black women are only half as likely to receive fertility treatments.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, 15% of White women between the ages of 25-44 received fertility treatments, as opposed to 8% of Black women within the same age range. This disparity in numbers is due to a combination of socioeconomic and cultural factors, including the lingering stigma of infertility, which has caused many Black women to suffer in silence.

The Stigma

The stigma surrounding infertility is still felt by many, and some communities feel it more strongly than others. In one study, both Black and Hispanic women felt a higher degree of stigma due to infertility compared to other ethnic groups. When this stigma suppresses important conversations about infertility and family-building alternatives, many women are left silenced and unaware of their options.

The Potential Solutions

With Black female public figures such as Michelle Obama, Gabrielle Union, and Tyra Banks sharing their fertility issues, perhaps the larger conversation about infertility can become more open and the stigma could be reduced. This would create opportunities that can empower those struggling with infertility and give them the informational tools they need to seek the family-building options that are right for them.

Yet, even with empowerment and knowledge about family-building options, access to those options continues to be an issue for many simply because of cost. However, as fertility benefits are becoming more widely available, access to treatment can become much more feasible. With more companies providing these benefits to employees, perhaps the stigma can be further reduced and the gap in fertility treatment access can improve.

Click to see how WINFertility’s managed benefits create more opportunities for people to access crucial family-building resources.