As in many countries around the world, couples dealing with infertility in South Africa often face stigma
While they are dealing with the pain and grief of failing to start or grow their family, they often feel that they must be silent about their journey. Does this sound familiar?
We want to break down the stereotypes, misinformation, and taboos around infertility! The National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) aims to spread facts and provide support to those who are struggling to conceive. You are not alone.
IVFBabble, along with NIAW.co.za, IFAASA (Infertility Awareness Association of South Africa), and the House of Fertility, is passionate about eradicating the stigma that men and women face when they can’t have a baby naturally. That’s why we helped to put on the NIAW event.
The week-long event saw a whole host of online events and webinars on topics such as:
- IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation)
- ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)
- Male infertility causes and treatment
- Female infertility causes and treatment
- Egg and Sperm Donor Cycles
- Oncofertility and egg freezing
- Baby Loss and miscarriage
Experts from across South Africa spoke at length about choices, costs, your rights, your personal journey, and the science behind the treatment.
Facts about IVF in South Africa
South Africa currently has just two IVF units in public hospitals, which, as you can imagine, have long waitlists. The rest of the clinics in the country are privately-owned.
There are approximately 5000+ IVF cycles carried out in South Africa every year. While this may sound like a large number, it is shockingly low for a country of 50 million. If you scale the numbers accordingly and compare to a country like the USA, there should be at least 20,000 cycles carried out each year.
What is the reason for this discrepancy? It’s down to 2 main factors:
- There are not enough IVF clinics in South Africa, both public and private.
- The costs of IVF are very high and are totally dependent on private funding by the couple dealing with infertility.
This means that a huge number of couples cannot afford and acquire the medical treatment that they require to start their family, and will therefore never have a child. The World Health Organisation recognises infertility as a medical condition, and yet so many South Africans are being denied this vital healthcare.
We agree with the IFAASA that medical funding should at least partially cover infertility treatments, and we standby infertile couples in fighting for this right
If you missed the NIAW online event this year, make sure that you sign up for their newsletter and join them on Facebook and Instagram. That way you’ll be kept in the loop about upcoming events, and can participate next year.
What do you think about the infertility options in South Africa? Do you live in another part of Africa? Have you faced stigma for not being able to conceive naturally? We want to know about your experiences – share your thoughts in the comments or to firstname.lastname@example.org