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Education is Key in Helping Minority Couples Struggling with Infertility. Cultural and financial barriers can keep couples from seeking treatment, but help is available.
In the U.S., one in eight couples and more than 6.5 million women struggle with infertility. While 15% of caucasian women seek treatment, only half of minorities visit a specialist in their effort to conceive, despite the fact that married African American women have nearly twice the odds of infertility. (Source: Department of Health and Human Services and the National Center for Health Statistics.)
For many women, especially those in the minority community, the inability to conceive is an issue they keep to themselves, in part because of cultural and/or religious influences, along with the perceived cost of infertility treatments.
But more and more women of color are seeing their counterparts in the waiting room of fertility clinics and discussing the issue openly and honestly among family and friends.
“I do feel there’s a level of privacy, but social media, reality television and celebrities who have been open with their infertility struggles have made these issues more commonplace,” said Shannon Smith, of New Tampa. Smith and her husband underwent in vitro fertilization at The Reproductive Medicine Group in order to conceive their daughter, who was born in February, 2015. “I’ve had lots of conversations with women of other ethnic backgrounds who are going through the same thing. Because we’ve been blessed, I think it’s important to share my story to give people hope.”
“There is absolutely no shame in a couple’s inability to conceive,” said Dr. Sandy Goodman, of The Reproductive Medicine Group. “Today there are a multitude of ways to assist couples in achieving their dream of having a child, and financing is readily available to make these procedures affordable.”
Patients at The Reproductive Medicine Group quickly learn about all of their options to conceive, including the different medical interventions that are available, from in vitro fertilization to using donors or surrogates.
“Educating our patients about their options is one of the most important things we do,” added Dr. Goodman. “Our entire staff is committed to providing a nurturing and supportive environment and ensuring that couples are on the most successful pathway towards achieving parenthood.”.