Thousands of couples worldwide are impacted by the sensitive and complicated infertility issue. It is regrettably still taboo in many cultures and frequently the target of stigma, prejudice, and even exclusion. Infertility continues to be a problem primarily for women, and the Philippines is no exception to this trend. This blog post will examine the various forms of discrimination that Filipino women dealing with infertility issues experience and how this discrimination affects them daily. This article sheds light on a significant issue affecting countless Filipino families today, ranging from social stigma to restricted access to healthcare resources. Join us as we explore this issue’s core and discuss how we can work through these obstacles together!
Infertility: What is it?
Infertility is the most basic form of inability to conceive after trying for a year of unprotected sex. However, there isn’t a universally applicable definition of infertility; somewhat, it differs from person to person. Treatment may be effective for some couples in as little as a few months. Others might never be able to get pregnant.
Various factors can bring on infertility, and it has many other causes. The cause is unknown in about 30% of cases. Common causes include:
- Ovulatory issues (the most common cause in women over 35)
- Endometrial cancer (a condition where the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus)
- Fallopian tube damage, such as tubal obstruction (which carries eggs from the ovaries towards the uterus)
- Inflammatory Pelvic Disease (an infection that damages the reproductive organs)
- Male fertility issues (caused by problems with sperm production or function)
- Discrimination against Infertility in the Philippines: A Woman-Centric Struggle (Age-Related Fertility Decline, a Natural Decline in Fertility that Starts Around Age 35 in Women)
Despite notable scientific and technological advancements, discrimination against people living with infertility is still pervasive in modern-day Filipino society. This is primarily due to outmoded social norms prioritizing procreation and motherhood as the foundational elements of a woman’s value and identity. As a result, society and the Filipino community frequently put tremendous pressure and prejudice on infertile women.
Causes of Infertility
There are many different reasons why people struggle with infertility, but some common factors can also play a role. A problem with the ovulation process is one of the most frequent causes of infertility. Each month, the ovaries release an egg, which travels in to the fallopian tube towards the uterus, where it might be fertilized by sperm. This process is known as ovulation. Conception is impossible if ovulation doesn’t occur or the egg isn’t released correctly. Age, endometriosis, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), male factor infertility, and problems with the fallopian tubes or uterus are additional potential causes of fertility issues.
For couples having trouble conceiving, there are numerous treatment options available. However, these procedures can be pricey, and not all teams can afford them. Furthermore, many cultures still have a great deal of stigma associated with fertility issues. Couples may find it challenging to ask friends and family for support. Couples who are having trouble getting pregnant frequently feel isolated and alone.
Because women are more likely to experience infertility-related problems than men, the discrimination against infertility in the Philippines is primarily a female struggle. Additionally, according to conventional gender roles, having children is a woman’s responsibility. This puts a lot of stress on women already having trouble conceiving. Couples seeking assistance from doctors or fertility clinics are also treated differently, another example of discrimination. Women are frequently the ones who experience shame as a result of infertility.
The Definition of Family in the Philippines
In the Philippines, a family typically comprises a mother and father, their children, and occasionally other relatives who reside in the same home. The extended family normally resides close by and significantly impacts the lives of its members.
In the Philippines, no one definition of family is accepted by all. The traditional family model is still prevalent in the nation, though. This frequently results in prejudice against people who are childless or incapable of becoming parents.
Even though there is no official definition of a family in the Philippines, the government does recognize specific family types for things like taxation and inheritance. These include same-sex couples, nuclear families, and families with just one parent.
In the Philippines, discrimination against infertility is a significant issue. Infertile women frequently experience social stigma and are shunned by their families and communities. They could be considered a burden on their husbands or less than full-fledged women. Social isolation and mental health issues may result from this.
The Different Types of Discrimination Against Women with Infertility
Infertility-related discrimination affects women in the Philippines in a variety of ways. One type is predicated on the idea that women are to blame for their infertility. Rural areas, where traditional gender roles are firmly held, are particularly prone to this. Women are frequently held responsible for their infertility and told they must have done something to deserve it. They may become isolated, even from their own families and the larger community.
Economic discrimination is another form of prejudice. Infertility treatments are very costly and frequently not covered by insurance. This implies that women who want to have children must pay for everything themselves. This can be extremely expensive and discourage women from seeking any treatment.
Social prejudice also exists against infertility-affected women. They might be viewed as incomplete or abnormal, which could cause them to receive different treatment from those around them. They might be shunned or made fun of, making it very challenging to establish trusting bonds.
Consequences of Discrimination on Women’s Mental Health
In the Philippines, infertile women are frequently discriminated against. This discrimination may significantly impact their mental health.
Many infertile women experience feelings of inadequacy. They might think others judge them and that no one cares about them. Anxiety and depression may result from this.
Additionally, some women might feel compelled to keep their infertility a secret from others. Isolation and feelings of shame may result from this.
It is crucial to remember that you are not alone if you are experiencing mental health issues due to prejudice against infertility. Numerous other women can relate to what you’re going through. Seek assistance from friends, family, or an infertility support group.
How to end discrimination against women with infertility
How to stop prejudice against infertility-stricken women doesn’t have a single solution. Several things can be done to lessen the prejudice and discrimination that women experience.
Raising public awareness of infertility and its causes is one way to assist. Many people don’t realize that infertility affects both men and women and frequently believe that women are the only ones who experience it. Infertility is an actual condition, and by enlightening others about it, we can help dispel some of the myths and prejudices that support it.
Giving those struggling with infertility support and resources is another way to lessen discrimination. This can range from providing financial support to offering emotional support. By utilizing the numerous organizations and groups that provide assistance and support to those dealing with infertility, we can contribute to making life a little easier for those who require it.
Finally, we must keep fighting for our rights as infertile women. When we see discrimination, we must speak out against it and work to ensure that everyone, regardless of their fertility status, has the same opportunities. We can only hope to end discrimination against infertile women by working together.
The severity of gender inequality women experience daily is made clear by examining discrimination against infertility in the Philippines. Due to societal expectations that they have children, infertile women struggle even more than usual. To ensure that there is no one left behind or subjected to discrimination because of their reproductive health status, we must keep talking about this issue, spread awareness, and work as a community. Perhaps we can end discrimination against fertility in the Philippines soon enough with coordinated efforts from both genders and laws and policies protecting the rights of those with infertility issues.