Fertility research has excluded certain groups. Find out who and why.
Infertility is experienced by anyone. Infertility does not discriminate by geography, gender, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status. Therefore, in order to accurately measure infertility, the right data needs to be collected. Such data collection requires accuracy in using the right data parameters and using the relevant data sources.
Sadly, a recent report reveals that some infertility groups have been excluded from surveys that were meant to measure and collect infertility data. The individuals belonging to those excluded infertile groups have been identified as the “invisible infertile”. This exclusion sheds light on fertility norms and survey biases associated with social inequalities.
For example, the Integrated Fertility Survey Series (IFSS) in the US excluded men from fertility data until the year 2002. What this means is that even though men are responsible for up to 50% of infertility cases in a couple, only women were the source of all infertility data in the country. IFSS, as well, did not let participants identify as LGBTQ until the last decade. Overall, these practices cast doubt on the validity of the data, analytic tools, and findings conducted about infertility up until now.
What exclusion from fertility research by certain groups means to those groups?
The exclusion of marginalized groups and racial minorities leads to ineffective policymaking, which in turn, obstructs access to necessary medical assistance and fertility care – a basic human right. From this point on, accurately designed survey instruments must be implemented in order to accurately assess the current fertility and infertility landscape that includes and accounts for everyone.
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Opionato started with one woman’s personal fertility experience and the vision to give others what she lacked. Read Maja’s story here: https://www.opionato.com/blog/what-i-wish-i-knew-my-fertility-journey.