Infertility affects 12% of all women up to age 44, but research suggests that black women are twice as likely to experience infertility as white women. However, only 8% of black women between the ages of 25-44 seek medical help to get pregnant, compared to 15% of white women.
To better understand this disparity, Fertility for Colored Girls hosted a webinar with black female endocrinologists including our Dr. Shannel Adams and Dr. Erica Louden to discuss fertility in the black community, the stigma of the diagnosis, and ways to improve egg quality before seeing a specialist.
Fertility is a difficult topic with a lot of stigma attached. This is especially true in the black community. The stereotype is that black women are more fertile than white women and that is just not true. This stereotype could keep black women from discussing their struggles with their doctors or seeing a fertility specialist. According to surveys, 21.3% of black women feel uncomfortable talking to their doctors about infertility issues compared to 13.5% of white women.
A lack of representation in the industry could be one factor. There are less than 50 black, female Reproductive Endocrinologists & Infertility specialists in the entire United states, representing less than 1% of REI physicians. This would make finding a doctor who has had similar experiences, stereotypes, or medical issues difficult.
Socioeconomic issues could also be a factor. Not being aware of financing options can deter people from moving forward in their fertility journey. To learn more about pricing please visit our transparent pricing page.
There are things women can start doing now before seeing a doctor to optimize their fertility health. Some of these preempted steps are; no smoking, reduce alcohol intake, maintaining a healthy body weight, and taking supplements.
If pregnancy isn’t in your immediate plans egg freezing could be a good option for you.
Learn more about Dr. Shannel Adams and Dr. Erica Louden, fertility supplements, and fertility in the black community during this Instagram Live.
(The Vios Fertility Institute is now Kindbody.)