Written by: Patricia Dada, MA, BA | Founder, Black Fertility Journal, Inc.

It is essential to ensure everyone can build the family they desire, regardless of race, gender, or socio-economic status.

Fertility challenges are a deeply personal and often stressful experience. We know that having access to quality fertility care is crucial for individuals and couples hoping to start or grow their families. However, access to fertility care in Canada is not equitable, with significant disparities affecting the Black community.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), infertility affects about 15% of couples globally. In Canada, it’s estimated that 1 in 6 couples experiences infertility, a statistic that has continuously risen over the past few decades. Fertility issues do not discriminate based on race, gender, or ethnicity; access to care does. Access to fertility care involves more than just the availability of medical services. There are economic barriers and a lack of representation that are contributing factors.

Economic Barriers

Fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), aren’t cheap. The average cost of a single IVF cycle in Canada can range from $10,000 to $15,000, not including medication. I’m aware of some provincial health plans that offer some coverage, but most costs are out-of-pocket. According to the Canadian Poverty Institute, Black Canadians are disproportionately represented among the population that lives with low income, with 12.4% of Black Canadians living in poor households, compared to just 8.1% of the total population. With these economic disparities, access to fertility treatments can be unaffordable for many.

Lack of Representation and Support

It goes without saying that representation matters in healthcare. Black individuals are often underrepresented among healthcare professionals, including fertility specialists. This lack of representation can lead to cultural misunderstandings and a lack of culturally competent care, where the needs of Black patients are not adequately addressed. Moreover, there are fewer support networks specifically for Black individuals experiencing infertility.

While limited data on the Canadian Black community exists, research from the United States provides some insights. A study published in the National Library of Medicine journal found that Black women are twice as likely to experience infertility compared to white women but are less likely to seek or receive fertility treatment. Additionally, when they do pursue treatment, they often have lower success rates, partly due to later-stage interventions and less effective care.

Introducing The Black Fertility Journal

So, how do we address the disparities in fertility care? I believe it requires a multi-faceted approach, starting with creating a supportive community, increasing awareness about fertility issues, empowering individuals to seek care, and providing opportunities for funding fertility treatments.

I created the Black Fertility Journal (BFJ) to do just that.

Our mission is to create a space where every Black person can access fertility knowledge, resources, funding, and a supportive community. By centering Black voices, experiences, and perspectives, we aim to break down barriers and celebrate the joy of parenthood. We encourage individuals to make informed decisions about their reproductive health.

BFJ officially launched on Thursday, February 29, 2024, and since then, we’ve had some incredible milestones and testimonials from our growing community.

For example, based on our Instagram Direct Message recommendation, five online community members visited their primary care physician to undergo an Anti-Müllerian Hormone Test (AMH). Upon completion of their AMH and further testing, some of their physicians discovered ovarian cysts, which required immediate surgery. Others received medication, a Gynecology referral, and education on how to manage their pain.

This is why BFJ exists. Four months later, I am excited to see how our journey continues to unfold and where it takes us!

Ways To Get Involved

We invite readers to join our growing community across our various social channels! It is an excellent opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, share your story, and find support.

We build from a place of belonging and solidarity. Help amplify our message by sharing BFJ’s resources with friends, family, and social networks. We invite you to consider partnering with us!

We would love to connect with you if you are a fertility clinic or practitioner committed to equity and interested in expanding your patient demographic. Additionally, we offer a clinic concierge program to support your growth and expansion.

Connect With Us

Email: blackfertilityjournal@gmail.com
Instagram: @blackfertilityjournal
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/blackfertilityjournal/
Website: www.blackfertilityjournal.com


World Health Organization (WHO). “Infertility.”

Fertility Matters Canada. “Provincial Coverage.”

Williams, D. R., & Rucker, T. D. (2000). Understanding and addressing racial disparities in health care. Health care financing review, 21(4), 75–90.

Galic, I., Negris, O., Warren, C., Brown, D., Bozen, A., & Jain, T. (2020). Disparities in access to fertility care: who’s in and who’s out. F&S Reports, 2(1), 109–117.

Canadian Poverty Institute. “Poverty And Anti-Black Racism: What Poverty Rates Tell Us (And Don’t Tell Us) About Blackness In Canada.”