Infertility's Global Stigma

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Infertility affects million of women and men around the world, but cultural stigma has kept it in the shadows. Cristen and Caroline talk about the causes of male and female infertility, its psychological impact and why it's often a biological battle waged in silence.

Episode Sources:

"The next IVF revolution: Older women more likely to have babies with new technique set to trial in UK this year"

"How infertility was talked about throughout history -- because to fight a taboo, you need to understand its origins"

"A fertility timeline"

"The fertility race"

"Infertility FAQs"


"Global prevalence of infertility, infecundity and childlessness"

"Global rates of infertility remain unchanged over past 2 decades"

"Mother or nothing: The agony of infertility"

"What's behind West and Central Africa's youthful demographics? High desired family size"

"Many couples struggle with infertility in silence"

"Why black women struggle with infertility in silence"

"How women around the world cope with infertility"

"Insurance coverage"

Academic Insights:

"Psychological and cross-cultural aspects of infertility and human sexuality." Antonio Pacheco Palha and Mario F. Lourenco. Advanced Psychosomatic Medicine. Vol. 31. Pages 164-183. 2011.

"Time to pregnancy: Results of the German prospective study and impact on the management of infertility." C. Gnoth et al. Human Reproduction. Vol. 18, No. 9. Pages 1959-1966. 2003.

"National, regional and global trends in infertility prevalence since 1990: A systematic analysis of 277 health surveys." Maya N. Mascarenhas et al. PLOS Medicine. Vol. 9, No. 12. Dec. 18, 2012.

"The invention of infertility in the classical Greek world: Medicine, divinity and gender." Rebecca Flemming. Bulletin of the History of Medicine. Vol. 87, No. 4. Winter 2013.

Topics in this Podcast: pregnancy, health, stigma, birth, children, families, fathers, mothers