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JK Fertility for Women of Color

J. Kendall “Kenny” Smalls holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology (minor in Computer Science) from Morgan State University and a Master’s of Science in Clinical Embryology from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom, where he was the first African-American in the program’s history to graduate.

He started his professional career in 1990 at Cornell University Medical Center conducting infertility tests based on immunology factors. In 1991, he became the supervisor of the Andrology Department and was responsible for Chlamydia evaluation, sperm antibody detection and semen analysis. In 1997, he expanded his career to include embryology, performed semen evaluations for inseminations and cryopreservation, and assisted in in vitro fertilization procedures.

In 1999, Kenny began working with the world-renowned embryologist, Dr. Jacques Cohen at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. Dr. Cohen has been actively involved in treating infertile couples by assisted reproductive technology since 1976 and was the first scientist to successfully freeze and thaw human blastocysts. Under Dr. John Garrisi and Dr. Cohen’s tutelage Kenny increased his knowledge of embryology and learned the most current techniques in assisted reproductive technology.

In late 2009, Kenny decided to form the corporation J Kendall LLC, Infertility Information, with the hopes of promoting and providing quality service and accurate information to patients seeking treatment, especially the first time. From this corporation JK Fertility was formed to provided fertility information specifically for women of color. His goal is to enlighten communities of color about the advancements of in vitro fertilization with the expectation that doing so will take away the shame and misinformation currently associated with it.


Find a fertility doctor

a blog by J. Kendall “Kenny” Smalls, February 15, 2012

It has been perceived that once an African American woman, and I guess most women, find a good OB/GYN, she is loyal to a fault at times. The amount of trust you place in your OB/GYN is sometimes more than the trust you place in your own spouse. You can be so accepting of what the OB/GYN says that it can actually be looked upon as blind trust. This relationship can begin in your teens and proceed throughout your reproductive years. The level of trust that is built up between the two of you is extremely important and will be used to build a comfort level between your body and the physician. This is fine if you are not looking to extend your family. However, if you are trying to build a family, and you are not getting the proper care you need, then it’s time to break up with your OB/GYN.

I’m quite sure you’ve broken up with people before and it’s pretty much the same thing, just not as messy. It goes a little like this, “I’m breaking up with you. It’s not you … it’s me." What you need is a fertility doctor, also known as a reproductive endocrinologist (RE). Perhaps your OB/GYN can actually refer you to a good one. If he/she cannot send you to a fertility doctor, then it is time to leave him/her. An RE specializes in fertility treatments and is perhaps better suited to help you through your journey towards family building.

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