Today we are going to talk about African women and IVF treatment. There seems to be a stigma surrounding IVF treatment, many women in Africa will not admit that they conceived through IVF or even any other fertility treatments. I don’t understand why the shame of needing fertility treatment is so pronounced in African countries.
Many women suffer in silence because they don’t even want to walk into a fertility clinic for fear of being recognized. Fertility medication is taken in secret as if one is suffering from a plague. I speak this way because I have gone through, what some women are going through. The problem with infertility is that it’s the only condition that people feel the need to diagnose and treat based on what they have heard, read or even believe.
In Africa When People Find Out That You Have Fertility Issues, They All Become Doctors
When society especially in Africa discovers that a couple is struggling with having a baby, they will offer lots of unsolicited advice, and remedies. So I guess this plays a big part in making people stay silent about their fertility struggles. I was speaking to one woman who I suspected was having fertility issues, we got talking and I shared my story with her, it was not easy for her to open up, but in the end, she did.
She told me how she had been in marriage for ten years and all this time she was trying to conceive with no success, she and her husband had gone for tests and it was determined that the husband had no issues, but she had some issues that prevented her from conceiving without the help of IVF.
After Going Through IVF Or Other Fertility Treatments, They Later Claim It’s A Miracle Baby
Well, they managed to raise the money and she was able to get pregnant on the first try, she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, and when it came the time for the baby to be taken to church for what is called “dedication service” She gave a moving testimony about how after trying for 10 years, “God Finally Blessed her with a baby boy” Now don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing her for giving God credit, because as we know even IVF does not guarantee a baby ask me I know.
But I think it’s hypocritical to just say that you conceived after 10 years of trying and not mention the fact that you spent thousands of dollars on IVF treatments in order for you to have the said baby. I think African women need to be educated about fertility issues.
These days women are waiting before they can start having children and as we all know, when you hit a certain age, conceiving becomes a bit difficult. In Africa, the stigma surrounding IVF treatment is so big that even celebrities will not admit that they’ve had IVF especially Christian celebrities.
Many African Women Dump The Fertility Specialists Soon After A Pregnancy Is Achieved
In an interview, I watched with a fertility specialist based in Kenya, he said that women would come for IVF, but after the 3rd trimesters, they dump the specialist and go to an OBGYN because they want people to think they conceived the old fashion way. The specialist said that most patients don’t want to be associated with the fertility clinic at all because they would not want people to know that they had fertility issues.
I think there is a misconception when it comes to people of color, while covering this issue while talking about her new book, actress Gabriel Union author of You Got Anything Stronger and another one called We’re Going to Need More Wine talked about the fact that people of color are viewed as “breeders” which makes it even tougher for us when we face infertility.
What people need to understand is, infertility is an illness just like any other illness and it can affect anyone regardless of ethnicity. Also, people need to be sensitive when talking to a couple dealing with infertility, many statements are so triggering, and I can tell you from experience, some words are so hurtful that women are crying themselves to sleep just thinking about a comment, a statement, question that was asked during the day.
Please Keep Your Suggestions And Comments To Yourself
If you don’t know what to say, just be honest and say so, if you know someone who has had a miscarriage, don’t try to make statements like”you are still young, you will have a baby” Or” my cousin, sister, grandmother, had a miscarriage then later had ten babies” instead say something like “I really don’t know what you are going through. But I am here to listen and comfort you”
Also if a couple is trying to conceive, avoid questions like “are you doing it right?” Have you tried XYZ? trust me, I am sure they have tried. Stop dropping by with jelly cans full of traditional medicines and herbs. And while we are at it stop suggesting prophets and witch doctors.
Infertility is a serious condition and according to W H O ( World Health Organization) infertility is a global health issue affecting millions of people So I don’t think people should be ashamed of this condition, Also I don’t think there should be stigma souring seeking help or having IVF treatment if people are not ashamed to seek treatment when they are suffering from other illnesses, why should we as African women be ashamed to admit when we need help to conceive.
Women are walking into fertility clinics in disguise and taking their medication, or IVF ejections in secret as if they are doing something illegal. Infertility is an illness people, say it with me, infertility is an illness just like any other illness. Nothing to be ashamed of, and no people are not suffering from infertility as a result of multiple abortions.
There are many conditions that cause infertility, for example, PCOS(Polly Cystic Ovary Syndrome) Endometriosis, Uterine Fibroid, Blocked Fallopian tubes among others. So stop judging.
Anyway, thank you for reading my blog today.
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