In honor of National Minority Health Month (April), we wanted to bring a bit more awareness to the fact that more African American women are experiencing the heartache of infertility compared to women of other races and ethnicities. According to a release issued by Georgia Reproductive Specialists and Desiree McCarthy-Keith, a doctor with the clinic, "black women have twice the odds of infertility compared to white women. 11.5% of black women report infertility compared to 7% of white women."
The release goes on to note that black women are less likely to seek the help of a fertility specialist or assisted reproductive techniques (ART) like in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI). Possible reasons, says Dr. McCarthy-Keith, are that the cost of treating infertility may be prohibitively high -- for black couples as well as those from any ethnic background -- and that limited awareness of treatment options and/or access to fertility specialists may hinder black women getting help that would allow them to conceive, carry, and deliver a healthy baby.
Black women may be more medically challenged, too, owing to much higher rates of uterine fibroids, which can impair a woman's odds of conceiving.