What woman wants to hear that anything is permanent? Definitely not Tameenah Adams Flores, successful businesswoman, wife, and mother who previously had a tubal ligation and was now looking to conceive. Her tenacious spirit compelled her to do extensive research about having another baby that did not involve reversing her previous surgery. Jump to the video.
Limited Access to Infertility Treatment for Women of Color
“When I found Shady Grove Fertility Center it was a relief because I hadn’t seen any images that resembled who I was,” Tameenah expressed.
Relieved that she could relate to some of the images, stories and discussions on the Shady Grove Fertility’s website and Facebook community, she decided to schedule an appointment at the Waldorf, Maryland office as a 39 year-old mother of three that needed help conceiving.
“I thought I was going to walk in and get pregnant just like that,” she said in an interview with Barbara Harrison, midday news anchor for NBC4 Washington, to discuss a recent The New York Times article detailing the societal pressures and misconceptions of African American women who also face infertility.
“About 15 percent of the population suffer from infertility,” according to Shady Grove Fertility physician, Simon Kipersztok, M.D., with the cause of the infertility being a 50/50 split between female factor and male factor infertility.
Infertility can impact women and men of all races, but according to the National Center for Health Statistics, nearly double the number of white women seek treatment than women of color, despite the fact that married black women are almost twice as likely to experience infertility.
Dr. Kipersztok suggests that limited access to care is a primary reason women of color may have issues seeking fertility treatment. For women with insurance, more successful reproductive therapies are often not covered by their insurance plans. However, through education and support from family, friends, support groups, and medical experts, women can receive the help and financial assistance needed to achieve their dreams.
Finding the Emotional Support & Medical Care She Needed
What Tameenah found out during her journey was that she suffered from diabetes and was 15 pounds overweight. She knew she was overweight, but had no idea that being even 10 pounds overweight would affect ovulation and her ability to conceive. She began to cut out a few poor meal choices, lose a few pounds, but when she returned for a check-up, she was told it just was not enough for successful treatment.
“We mapped a plan from point P: Problem to point B: Baby,” mentioned Dr. Simon Kipersztok.
Aside from the clinical approach, Tameenah also joined Shady Grove Fertility’s Facebook community, shared her story, and connected with the other women that were facing the same dilemma. The online community began using an online weight loss app, tracked caloric intake, and changed their health from the inside out.
“We would even text back and forth about exercising and even if I came home tired after a long day, but got a text that a Shady Grove Sister who was on the treadmill, I was determined to get on the treadmill too,” Tameenah exclaimed.
Getting the Green Light for IVF
Her plans and support worked. She was able to control her weight, transform her eating habits and finally lose the weight. “I got the ‘green light’ to move forward, which is what we say among our Shady Grove Sisters,” Tameenah was ready to proceed with in vitro fertilization.
After a year of trying, her story has come full circle and now has a beautiful 10 month old daughter, Journey.
“I am so impressed with how she has overcome so many obstacles: physically, emotionally, and socially to get to where she is today and her drive to never give up made her dreams into a reality. So many other women in her situation would have given up,” said Dr. Kipersztok.
One primary tip for women of color Tameenah expressed, “Perseverance is the key.”
If you have been trying to conceive for a year and would like take the next step, call our New Patient Center at 877-971-7755 or click to schedule an appointment .