Race and Infertility

With 10 percent or 6.1 million women in the U.S struggling with infertility according to the US government, it’s no surprise that so many of us are searching for answers. While many have pointed the finger toward obesity, alcohol, physical activity, and other lifestyle choices one factor you may have skipped over is race.

In a recent study done by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, 11.5 percent of black women reported infertility compared to just seven percent of whites. Why is this? When it comes to infertility race has a larger impact than we may have originally thought. Here are a few ways race can affect infertility in women.

1. Excess weight.  While most of us are aware that excess weight can become a factor in your fertility, making becoming pregnant more challenging, did you know that race can play a role when it comes to your weight? A recent study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that African-American women had higher rates of obesity as opposed to other races.

2.  STIs.  Sexually Transmitted Infections or STIs are another factor when it comes to infertility that race may affect. According to a 2010 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the rate of STIs among blacks were 18.7 times the rates among whites. Getting these infections repeatedly overtime can have harmful effects on your future infertility.

3.  Uterine Fibroids.  Uterine Fibroids or benign tumors found on a women’s uterus have been proven to make conceiving and carrying a pregnancy to full term more difficult. Numerous studies have shown that different races tend to have more or less incidence of fibroids.

While race may have a larger impact on infertility than you originally thought, the truth is, infertility has no prejudice. Millions of Black, Asian and White women all over the world are struggling with infertility and because of this there are a number of support systems you can turn to like Fertility for Colored Girls and Resolve- The National Infertility Association.

Though not all of us are affected by infertility, each of us has something to overcome in our lives, this doesn’t make us any less special. Learning how to tackle our challenges and encouraging others to tackle theirs is what helps us keep going and most of all overcome.

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Join the Motivational Cheerleader February 16, 2014 radio broadcast as we discuss Fertility and the Black Women with special guest, Reverend Stacey Edward-Dunn, Founder/CEO, Fertility for Colored Girl (FCG).

Sources:
Women’s Health / Infertility in US women Statistics / http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/infertility.html
American Society of Reproductive Medicine / Infertility and Race Statistics / http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(10)02978-X/abstract
Obesity and African Americans / Excess Weight Statistics / http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/content.aspx?ID=6456
2010 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance / STI Statistics / http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats10/gonorrhea.htm

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