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31 October 2023

Fertility and Ethnicity

Paving the way for open communication in South-Asian communities

Fertility journeys can sometimes be very challenging, and people embarking on them can experience a mix of emotions – joy, anxiety, hope. In South Asian communities, fertility journeys are accompanied by other challenges, such as stigma around the subject. Because the topic of infertility is considered ‘taboo’, and modesty and discretion are core values of the Indian culture, there are real struggles to openly discuss fertility issues, making it very challenging for couples or individuals to seek information and support.


Harley Street Fertility Clinic are proudly committed to erase the stigma surrounding fertility issues in South-Asian communities through education and support. As an inclusive fertility clinic, we have helped many South-Asian patients in their fertility journeys, their stories of resilience being an inspiration to the wider South-Asian communities’ struggles.


Janani and Ragunesan: An IVF success story

Janani’s journey to motherhood was marked by determination and the unwavering support of her husband, Ragunesan. After facing issues with her fallopian tubes, the couple decided to explore the possibilities offered by IVF treatment at Harley Street Fertility Clinic. Through comprehensive testing, outstanding clinical expertise, to their delight, the treatment worked on the first attempt, and they were blessed with baby Aarika. Janani says that baby Aarika was "meant to be here." Her words are the proof of the joy that successful IVF treatments can bring to couples facing infertility. Her husband shares their experience at HSFC in detail, praising the clinic for doing a "very good job." Their satisfaction was so profound that they recommended a friend to seek help from the clinic, showcasing the ripple effect of positive experiences.


Seeta: freezing her eggs for the future

Seeta’s story is a perfect example of proactively seeking answers regarding fertility preservation when facing challenges. Seeta began her journey at the age of 13, dealing with undiagnosed endometriosis, a condition that can cause huge discomfort and significantly impact a woman's fertility. After years of uncertainty, Seeta turned to Harley Street Fertility Clinic at the age of 24 to assess her fertility health. The clinic uncovered a series of complications, which led to the decision to freeze her eggs for the future. Read Seeta’s egg-freezing story on our website.


Daisy: single mother as a South-Asian


When deciding to have children on her own using donor sperm, Daisy knew it would be challenging to approach the subject with her parents. Dr Venkat, Medical Director of Harley Street Fertility Clinic and of Indian heritage herself, is infamous for always going the extra mile, came to the rescue. In a touching display of empathy and understanding, she took the time to engage in a heartfelt conversation with Daisy’s parents about their daughter’s desire to have children as a single mother, using donor sperm. A truly remarkable moment, that led to Daisy’s parents embracing the situation. Daisy is now a mother of twins. Read Daisy’s story of hope here.


Webinar: South-Asian Fertility

Harley Street Fertility Clinic are not only dedicated to providing outstanding fertility expertise and consistent care, but also committed to informing and educating South-Asian communities on fertility issues.


Dr Venkat, Director of Harley Street Fertility Clinic, aims to raise awareness in South-Asian communities about the complex issues that can affect the South-Asian population- taking part in Indian society events, volunteering as a guest speaker, and featuring in BBC Asian Network Radio shows.

The clinic recently hosted a webinar on "Ethnicity and South Asian fertility," featuring a panel of fertility experts, including Dr. Venkat and Daisy. The experts delved into the causes and links between ethnicity and infertility, discussing the factors, including dietary choices. Daisy talked about her journey to have her twins, reflecting on her personal experiences of traditional culture and barriers to acceptance of modern fertility solutions.


Addressing this issue requires not only a shift in societal attitudes but also an understanding of the need for culturally sensitive approaches to fertility conversations. By fostering an environment where South Asian communities feel comfortable discussing fertility, their unique cultural and traditional perspectives can be embraced while ensuring access to the necessary resources and support for those facing fertility challenges. It is essential to break down the barriers of stigma and silence, encouraging open conversations and providing education and guidance to empower individuals to make informed decisions about their reproductive choices.