Did you know that Black women are more likely to be infertile than White women?1,2

Black women are however less likely to seek fertility treatment than their White counterparts,3 and, if they do, it takes longer to seek out that treatment.3 These racial disparities in infertility rates point to a need for more education and awareness about infertility in the Black community.

One of our #OneCooper employees and African Descent Employee Resource Group (ERG) members offered to share her own personal story and perspective on infertility in the Black community:

“Speaking from the perspective of an African Descendant, infertility is deemed to be an embarrassing and/or taboo topic. Many of us may come from large families; grandparents having ten plus children, and their children having five plus children, etc. If you come from that type of family structure, it is not an easy burden to carry, as you may have had several failed pregnancy attempts. Members in your family will ask is there something ‘wrong’ with you and ‘what is the reason you don’t have children yet?’ Who wants to be viewed as having something ‘wrong?’ This can foster the feeling of lack of support as it feels like no one else in the family has had this issue. It is likely that they just never spoke about infertility.

Those with strong religious beliefs may also view intervention as a lack of faith. They may think, ‘If I trust and believe in God, I will have the desires of my heart,’ which does not include an outside source, like a fertility clinic. Perhaps members in their religious community discourage fertility assistance due to a lack of knowledge.

If one pursues seeking a fertility specialist, they may not continue to the goal of pregnancy because of financial objections. It may not be covered by their health insurance, or out of pocket cost is more than they can budget.

Based on each rationale, I think the main objection is a lack of educational resources made available in the African Descendant community. Education dispels all myths and brings about solutions to problems people face.”




1 Chandra, A., Copen C.E., Stephen E.H. (2013). Infertility and Impaired Fecundity in the United States, 1982-2010: Data from the National Survey of Family Growth. National Health Statistics Reports.

2 Stephen E.H. & Chandra A. (2006). Declining estimates of infertility in the United States: 1982–2002. Fertility and Sterility, 86, 516–23.

3 Reported in: Insogna, I. G., & Ginsburg, E. S., (2018). Infertility, Inequality, and How Lack of Insurance Coverage Compromises Reproductive Autonomy. AMA Journal of Ethics, 20(12), E1152-1159.