Black Fertility Matters
Studies suggest Black women are twice as likely to experience infertility than White women, and that close to half of Black women report their physicians do not understand their cultural background when seeking fertility treatment.
In an effort to break down cultural and historical barriers around Black fertility and maternal health, CCRM Fertility has established the Black Fertility Matters Fund to support the Black community through continued education, encouragement, and empowerment. By offering meaningful support and expanding accessibility to the Black community, we will tap into our international network of leading fertility doctors, advanced fertility research and patient success stories to spark meaningful conversations around the social disparities impacting Black fertility.
CCRM Fertility’s Black Fertility Fund Commitment
A program dedicated to providing impactful resources that will increase access and advocacy for Black individuals and families on their fertility journeys.
Black Fertility Matters Fund Partners
To kick-off the Black Fertility Matters Fund, CCRM Fertility has partnered with several organizations and community advocates dedicated to Black fertility care and treatment, including:
- xHood, the first community group and organization created in service of Black queer family building and nurturing journeys. CCRM Fertility supported xHood’s upcoming annual Black Parent Pride Summit on May 26-28 in Washington, D.C., which provides intentional visibility, deep connections and real support for Black Queer individuals anywhere on their journey to and through parenting.
- Tinina Q. CADE Foundation is a nonprofit founded by Drs. Jason and Camille Hammond to provide information support and financial assistance to help needy infertile families overcome infertility. CCRM Fertility is co-hosting a Coffee with Cade discussion on Black fertility care with Dr. Stephanie Thompson. Event details coming soon!
- Eggs over Easy: Black Women & Fertility is an upcoming documentary highlighting Black women and fertility. Executive Producer Chiquita Lockley and Dr. Aaron K. Styer, reproductive endocrinologist, founding partner and co-medical director of CCRM Fertility in Boston, hosted a webinar on infertility, fertility testing and treatment options, best approaches to be most empowering during your fertility journey, disparities for women of color in fertility treatments and patient support for the diagnoses of infertility. The full webinar can be viewed below.
About Dr. Stephanie Thompson, CCRM Fertility’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity
Dr. Thompson is an award-winning reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at The Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science (IRMS), a CCRM Fertility network clinic. She is an attending physician in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center, and double board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology and reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
Dr. Thompson received her undergraduate degree in Spanish from Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC and her medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York University Medical Center and completed her fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School.
Her special interests within the field include health and wellness in fertility patients and oocyte cryopreservation. Dr. Thompson has received many honors throughout her academic career, including Castle Connolly Top Doctor, and has actively contributed to the scientific literature in the field of Reproductive
Dr. Thompson was featured in the MSNBC documentary “Stories We Tell – The Fertility Secret” that examines infertility issues in the BIPOC community.
“As a Black woman working in reproductive endocrinology, I have personally witnessed the challenges that many Black women and others in the BIPOC community face when navigating their own fertility journeys. These challenges range from mistrust of physicians to concerns about egg donor diversity and maternal health complications, among others. This is why I am so deeply passionate and excited about CCRM Fertility’s commitment to advocating and supporting fertility issues that directly impact the Black community. With the incredible science and technology available today around family planning, this field is truly one of the most exciting areas in medicine. I firmly believe that CCRM Fertility’s Black Fertility Matters Fund will play an important role in propelling the industry and our society forward by helping to grow more families of color.” — Dr. Thompson
Black Fertility Statistics
- Black women had the highest maternal mortality rates across racial and ethnic groups during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, and also experienced the largest increase when compared to the year before the pandemic in 2019. Source
- Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women. Source
- Multiple factors contribute to these disparities, such as variation in quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism and implicit bias.
- American Psychological Association, “Infertility and BIPOC Women.” Source
- Some have found that married Black and Latina women are more likely to be infertile than White women.
- Black and Latina women are less likely to seek fertility treatment than their White counterparts. Also, Black women take more years to seek fertility treatment than White women. However, when financial barriers are removed or reduced, there is an increase in use of assisted reproductive services by Black women.
- Black, Asian and Latina women undergoing fertility treatment experience decreased pregnancy and live birth rates in comparison to White women.
- Black and Latina women using egg donors experience lower pregnancy and live birth rates in comparison to White women. Black women had worse outcomes whether using Black or other race donors.
- While BIPOC women are less likely to be referred for fertility treatment, once receiving care many find that clinics and providers lack cultural understanding. Close to half of Black women reported that their physician does not understand their cultural background when seeking fertility treatment. Low-income Latina women receiving care in a fertility clinic reported linguistic and cultural communication challenges with providers, as well as perceptions of providers being uncaring.
- One study found that the social stigma of infertility was “very concerning” to 49% of fertility patients, and Black and Chinese women were more concerned about social stigma related to infertility than White women.
- Compared with white women, Black women were less likely to visit a doctor in the total population and in the subgroup of women with infertility. In addition, Black women waited twice as long on average before seeking help compared with white women. Source
- Black women are three times as likely to have fibroids than white women when adjusted for other confounding factors. Pregnancy-related deaths are 3.3 times more likely among Black women than white women. Source
- According to the CDC, the incidence of infertility is higher in black women than in white women, and is steadily increasing. Source
- The study found that when they are conceived naturally, neonatal mortality is two-fold higher among Black infants than Whites. But when conceived by assisted reproductive technology, neonatal mortality was more than four-fold higher among babies of Black women. Source