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minorities and infertility treatment disparity

The stigma associated with infertility remains a reality, causing many women to live with the condition in silence and to not seek treatment. As National Infertility Awareness Week comes to a close, we continue to spread the message that women with infertility are not alone. With 1 in 8 couples affected by infertility, the condition impacts women and their families in communities across the world.

According to data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), there is a large disparity between the number of white women who seek infertility treatment and the number of minorities who do. It states, for instance, that 15% of white women between 25 and 44 seek medical help to become pregnant while the number for Hispanic women is 7.6% and 8% for black women. Yet, the National Survey of Family Growth, conducted by the NCHS between 2006 and 2010, also suggests that married black women have almost twice the chance of being infertile. Read the New York Times article “Infertility, Endured Through a Prism of Race.”

While this is a topic that is beginning to garner more attention in minority communities, the global conversion about infertility is an important first step in eliminating the stigma attached to being infertile. Whether you are black, white or Hispanic, there is help and support available to you. By participating in movements such as National Infertility Awareness Week, we can all help bridge the ‘knowledge gap’ that contributes to the disparity among races in infertility treatment. Efforts to spread the word in our communities about the symptoms and causes of infertility, as well as available treatment options, increase the chances that a woman will get the help she needs.

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