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A long road to motherhood: black women and assisted fertility

Motherhood is a gift but it is perhaps one of the hardest jobs in the world. It can be rewarding but also it is a tumultuous journey and for some the journey to even entering motherhood is a battle in itself.

The sad truth is fertility does not come naturally to all women some do struggle to successfully become pregnant and have to take measures of caution when doing so.

The current climate surrounding fertility and women's reproductive rights is particularly notable in the US as citizens fight to keep abortion laws as they currently stand. Nevertheless, the Roe vs Wade case law is rumoured to be potentially overturned causing yet another shift in women’s fundamental rights.

While some women are fighting for their rights to terminate pregnancy others are helping those that are losing hope in regards to having a child to achieve what they thought to be the impossible.

Charlotte Gentry is the CEO and Founder of the IVF network; what she describes to be her “passion project”.

Charlotte created the IVF network after her own personal experience and eventual success with IVF. A total of a gruelling “six years and a lot of money spent”.

Money well spent to say the least as she is now the proud mother of her son.

IVF in vitro fertilisation is a form of fertility treatment. The treatment is undergone by so many that in 2019 53,000 had around 69,000 IVF cycles.

Charlotte has experienced both the good and the bad with assisted fertility and found success at the end of it and is now helping other people, giving them “access to the top IVF specialists” as well as useful information and tools to assist them in their decisions, and most importantly a network of support from people going through the same journey with fertility.

HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) declare that women of colour and in particularly black women undergoing fertility treatments are less likely to have a baby than their white counterparts.

According to their latest report IVF uptake rates are considerably lower for black women as is the likeliness of the success of the process resulting in a pregnancy.

“While overall birth rates from fertility treatment have increased and are highest in patients under 35, Black patients aged 30-34 have an average birth rate of 23%, compared to 30% for Mixed and White patients, new data from the HFEA shows.”

The new report ‘Ethnic diversity in fertility treatment’ highlights that 31% of Black fertility patients have fertility problems related to issues with their fallopian tubes, compared to only 18% of patients overall.

Black patients also seeming begin the IVF process almost two years later at the age of 36.4 years old compared to the average patient at 34.6 years old. Perhaps with support networks like charlotte’s IVF network will help black women find more success with fertility treatment.

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