It isn't easy getting pregnant, and there are some 7.3 million infertile women in the U.S. to prove it. For black women, trying to conceive is an even more precarious spot to be in, with research putting the odds of infertility at twice that of our white counterparts.
Why 11.5 percent of black women report infertility compared to just 7 percent of whites is something Dr. Desiree McCarthy-Keith, a reproductive endocrinologist at Georgia Reproductive Specialists set out to explain in a recent report that also revealed that black women are less likely to use infertility services.
"I believe lack of access to infertility care and limited awareness about evaluation and treatment options can be substantial obstacles that keep many women from receiving the care that they need," she said, pointing to the prohibitive costs of infertility services as another culprit.
Diane Ashton, M.D., an obstetrician and Deputy Medical Director for the March of Dimes agrees. "Many of the assisted reproductive technologies, which would be the definitive treatment for infertility, are not covered by insurance," she told the Huffington Post. In addition to cost and access, Dr. Ashton says there are several physiological barriers that come into play as well.
Here, she explains five of the most common factors affecting fertility in black women, plus the truth about your biological clock.