Out in the Open

Inside Infertility

In Canada, about one in six couples and many individuals not in partnerships experience infertility. For some, the impact of not being able to conceive runs deep and makes them reassess some of their core beliefs.

Piya explores how infertility can complicate your sense of self

In in-vitro fertilization, eggs and sperm are brought together in a laboratory glass dish to allow the sperm to fertilize the egg. (CBC)

This episode was originally published on January 3, 2020.

Infertility affects about one in six couples in Canada and many individuals not in partnerships. And while there are many ways to make a family, not being able to conceive can deeply affect some people's identities and worldviews. This week, Piya explores how infertility can complicate your sense of self.

Here are the stories from this week's episode...

'I felt very much like a bad feminist': How experiencing infertility challenged this woman's sense of self

When Katy Lindemann found out that she was infertile, she struggled to reconcile her feminism with feeling like a "failure" as a woman. She speaks with Piya about that tension and how her experience motivated her to reclaim the word "barren" for herself and others who have little hope of being able to conceive.

Infertility upended his understanding of what it means to be a man

Vince Londini always expected that he and his wife would have kids, and long believed one of his primary roles both as a man and a religious person was to play his part in bringing them into the world. But those notions were shattered when he discovered he was infertile. Londini speaks with Piya about how this challenged his ideas of masculinity, legacy and faith.

How one woman's road to pregnancy led her to confront stereotypes about black women and fertility

Reverend Stacey Edwards-Dunn grew up internalizing stereotypes that black women were supposed to be hyper-fertile. So when she began facing infertility, she struggled in silence within her family and faith community. She speaks with Piya about this added layer of stigma for women of colour, and how it affected her both personally and as a leader in her church.

No national plan for fertility treatment remains challenge for Canadians hoping to conceive

While four provinces have some form of funding available, patients, advocates and policy experts say that Canada has a long way to go when tackling the financial barriers to infertility treatment.

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