Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How Racial Stereotypes can Isolate Women Experiencing Infertility

The article Infertility, Endured Through a Prism of Race  from the New York times brings to light an issue that has gotten less attention than needed. This examined how racial stereotypes about conception can isolate minority women (specially African Americans) who are dealing with infertility. Stereotypes as well as cultural expectations, depict black women as very fertile and able to have children whenever they are ready. It is also not an issue that is talked about as much in the black community, and women of color are under-represented in the population of women seeking help to conceive.

This is the case even when black women on average, are twice as likely to experience problems with fertility as white women. However, those most often seeking help with issues of fertility are white women of higher income and education. It is explained that these women often have the best healthcare coverage and resources to work with, but this is not exclusively why they are the highest population utilizing these services. Even when all services were covered by insurance, black women were less likely to seek out fertility treatments. The article attributes this to a lack of resource information, cultural beliefs and bias from medical professionals. Many times black women are not given the same medical advising with doctors focusing more on STD's then issue of fertility.

For all women, it is important to make sure that fertility is not an issue you are experimenting alone. Speak to people you trust and your doctor about any problem you may be having. Seek out resources and talk to others who have gone through the same things. By being open and honest about your situation, you will not only help yourself but you may also help someone close to you who is dealing with the same thing.


Resources:
Article: Infertility Endured Through A Prism of Race - NY Times

Fertility for Colored Girls - Organization dedicated for fertility empowerment in African American women

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