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World Health Organization Defines Infertility as a Disease

It didn't make headlines, but it's important.

a blog by Pamela Tsigdinos, Feb. 2, 2010

Barren. Unfruitful. Infertile.

These words offers up many shades of gray, don’t they? They certainly did for me, in particular, "infertile." I still remember the first time I saw the term in a brochure in an OB-Gyn office. I was much more naïve and younger then. My brain didn’t know how to process it -- going from “what’s that?” to “oh, not me!”

In time, I became embarrassed and shamed by the word. It wasn’t discussed openly. It was whispered about. Accordingly, I felt guilty about it. Condemned by it.

Society seemed most comfortable keeping the word shrouded in stigma. Until one day -- that being November 30, 2009 -- it was brought out of the closet. Held up under a different light and with the stroke of a pen it moved from a shadowy term with judgment hanging in the balance to an altogether new category:

Infertility = Disease

Yes, it was on November 30 -- just a few short months ago -- when the World Health Organization stepped forward to declare for the very first time that infertility is a disease.


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