African-Americans’ Fertility Struggles


Infertility struggles plague 1 in 8 couples, or 7.3 million women and their partners, in the United States. But the face of infertility is near twice as likely to be black as it is to be white. Among black women, 11.5% are reporting fertility struggles, compared to 7% of white women. Why exactly is this? That’s the question Reproductive Endocrinologist Dr. Desiree McCarthy-Keith of Georgia Reproductive Specialists sought to answer in a recent report also showed that black women are also less likely to pursue fertility treatments (PR Newswire).

Dr. McCarthy-Keith stated "In the past, there was a lack of attention toward the problem of infertility in minority women, and most marketing campaigns of infertility awareness and treatment were not directed towards us. This resulted in a lack of awareness about infertility as a disease and about avenues for seeking evaluation and treatment."

The high cost of infertility treatments can also be a limiting factor to families from any ethnic background.  Dr. McCarthy-Keith further stated, "I believe lack of access to infertility care and limited awareness about evaluation and treatment options can also be substantial obstacles that keep many women from receiving the care that they need" (PR Newswire).

Though fertility struggles among African Americans are less likely to be treated through in vitro fertilization (IVF), it is not completely unheard of. At times, the embryos created for an African-American couple through IVF are more than that couple can use for their own family building, opening the possibility for those embryos to be donated to another couple who may desire to build their family through embryo adoption. At any given time, the Embryo Adoption Agencies across the United States may have embryos of any ethnicity, waiting for a family just like yours. Learn more about embryo adoption at

Discover 5 leading causes of infertility among African Americans in the next Awareness Center Blog.

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