Breaking the Stereotype

We will NOT be Silenced!

Infertility among African American women and women of color is a problem that is all too often silenced.

Black women are more likely to deal with the pain of infertility and/or a miscarriage alone, in fear and in isolation. Too often we feel as if we aren’t good enough or worthy enough to bear children, let alone feel feminine.
This for me is a soft and touchy subject as I’ve always felt there’s an unspoken expectation to have children and if I didn’t I felt as if I wasn’t living up to my religious and familial expectations.

My Siblings, Husband and Cousins.

I come to you vulnerable. Sharing what still hurts but needs to be said.
Three miscarriages. That’s right THREE!
1 my extended family knew about, 2 my siblings and parents knew about and all of them my husband and I quietly cried alone about. I don’t say these things for pity or for someone to feel sorry for me, but to shed light on something we know about but don’t talk about.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), affects five to ten percent of all women. However, higher percentages are found in African-American females (8%) and Hispanic women (13%) than among Caucasians (4.8%), and with just my luck I’m African-American, and Hispanic (better known as Afro-Latina). One of the greatest misconceptions amongst African Americans and the Latin culture is that infertility is not a problem that should concern us. Which in fact is completely wrong.

The problem is when we go to our doctor with fertility issues the first thing they recommend is “the pill”. Now I’m not a doctor and I recommend always consulting with a doctor before making any drastic changes in your life but being smart about it too!
Our government and local officials have a big part to play in this. How many fertility specialists do you see in “the hood”? How many wellness clinics? Healthy food stores?
We must look at our surroundings first.
We as women whether Black, Hispanic, Caucasian or any other race must stop,look and listen.

We must educate ourselves beyond what is taught in grade school. We must not fear speaking up about the physical, emotional and mental health challenges that we are going through.
Dealing with infertility does not make you a “WEAK BLACK WOMAN”.
Caring about your emotional and mentalh health is not a sign of weakness.
Opening up about the trials you face on a daily basis because of the color of your skin or the kink in your hair DOES NOT MAKE YOU WEAK.

I said this would not be an easy subject to talk about but I was wrong. Our voices must be heard. Especially with what is happening in the world today.
We must not be sidetracked by a few days of silence. There is still a battle going on.

You’re beautiful, you’re smart, you’re strong!
I challenge you to reach out to a woman of color that you know and truly ask her how she feels. Listen to her. Learn from her. Be the ear she has been waiting to listen.

Each day begins a new.
I will fight this battle of infertility and WE will fight the greater battle together as one!

Love Always,

Lizzie P.

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