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SGF Atlanta’s Dr. Desireé McCarthy-Keith Confronts the Stigma of Infertility in African American Women

Infertility can affect women of all ages, races, and ethnicities, however research has shown that African-American women have a higher prevalence of infertility than Caucasian women. Chicago’s News Station WGN9 turned to SGF Atlanta’s Dr. Desireé McCarthy-Keith for expert perspective on the topic of infertility in African-American women.

“African-American women are more likely to have infertility, especially certain kinds, than women of other ethnic groups,” McCarthy-Keith said. “Many of the issues facing African-American women are medical, such as uterine fibroids, blocked Fallopian tubes, obesity, and advanced age, specifically women over 35.”

McCarthy-Keith added “Because African-American women tend to wait longer to seek fertility treatment, age becomes an even bigger factor.”

Other causes of infertility include ovulatory disorders such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, and premature ovarian failure.

“When patients seek help from a fertility specialist they are looking for answers. From the initial physician consultation through the infertility work-up, we explore every avenue to efficiently and effectively determine a diagnosis to your infertility,” says McCarthy-Keith.

About Dr. McCarthy-Keith

Dr. McCarthy-Keith of SGF Atlanta is one of the few African-American reproductive endocrinologists in the country and was honored by Black Health Magazine as one of Atlanta’s most influential African-American doctors.

“The road to parenthood is filled with ups and downs. The best part of my job is bonding with my patients as we make that journey together. It is a blessing to be a part of such a beautiful process and I love watching my babies grow up,” says McCarthy-Keith.

When to Seek Help

Regardless of your race, it’s never too early to start thinking about your fertility and knowing when to seek help from a fertility specialist. Early fertility testing and treatment offers the best chances of success. Knowing when to seek help is based on how long you’ve been trying to conceive—or having unprotected intercourse—and the woman’s age. It’s time to seek a fertility evaluation if:

  • Under age 35 with regular cycles, unprotected intercourse, and no pregnancy after 1 year
  • 35 to 39 with regular cycles, unprotected intercourse, and no pregnancy after 6 months
  • 40 or over with regular cycles, unprotected intercourse, and no pregnancy after 3 months or right away


SGF Atlanta has three locations in 
AlpharettaAtlanta-Northside, and Buckhead-Piedmont. To schedule an appointment with one of Shady Grove Fertility Atlanta’s three physicians, Drs. Mark Perloe, Desireé McCarthy-Keith, or Anne Namnoum, please call 877-971-7755 or complete this brief online form.


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