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Fertility Is Still A Taboo Topic In Many Black Communities But That Needs To End

Talking about infertility as a woman is stigmatised – this is especially true in black communities. Michelle Obama discusses her own journey of infertility in her book Becoming, thus highlighting an often hidden source of pain and distress for many women who look like her. However, since the start of recorded time women have struggled to get pregnant. In the Bible, Sarah (the wife of Abraham) and Rachel (the second wife of Jacob) were described as being ‘childless’ for decades.

In The Independent in November 2019, Dr Pragya Agarwal contended that in Britain the face of infertility is predominantly white. This omission of people of colour from posters, brochures and hospital waiting rooms perpetuates the idea that BAME people do not experience infertility. The public dialogue around fertility is mainly focused on privileged WASP couples, therefore, when a member of the black community struggles with their fertility it is easier for them to believe that they are alone, and they may feel insignificant, embarrassed and guilty about their inability to reproduce without medical assistance. There is a patent lack of general education about fertility options that garners fear and avoidance of interaction with the medical profession; the most generally known fact is that infertility treatment is expensive and many people are not aware that some treatment is available on the NHS.