Is there a taboo on infertility in Spain?

by Lorraine Williamson
fertility issues

Nearly eight in ten Hispanic women between the ages of 20 and 45 believe that fertility problems are taboo. Despite the fact that this is a problem that affects 800,000 couples in Spain, women especially do not dare to talk about it. 

According to the study ‘Wish and Reality’ by scientific research firm Merck about infertility, there is not much talk about this subject in Spain due to shame, social pressure or the feeling of failure. This is despite the fact that one in six couples suffers from fertility problems. 

Majority of women are afraid of consequences at work 

When couples, and especially women, enter a pregnancy trajectory, it means that they often have to request time off from work for check-ups and doctor’s appointments. Research shows that 70% of younger women are afraid to talk about the treatments they are undergoing at work because they are afraid of consequences for their career. 

According to a psychologist consulted, it is precisely this unconditional support from family, or in this case from an employer, that is extremely important in such a process. “Undergoing fertility treatments is an emotional rollercoaster and support and a listening ear is crucial in that case.” 

Research agency launches campaign in Fertility Week 

From November 7 to 13, it’s Fertility Week in Europe and to mark the occasion, the Merck company has launched the #QuitaElMuteALaInfertilidad (Stop the mute on infertility) campaign. This campaign aims to encourage talk about this topic. The more people share their experiences about this, the more normal the conversation about it becomes. 

According to researchers at Merck, there is a lot of misinformation about infertility and the treatments for it. In addition to the social media campaign, Merck believes there is a lot of ignorance about infertility. To solve this problem, Merck has created the Concibe platform where professional fertility experts cover different topics (psychology, nutrition, lifestyle, treatments, etc.) and where people can ask their questions. 

ASSSA - health insurance in Spain

Spanish women become mothers later and have fewer children 

In Spain, people have fewer and fewer children over the years and also at a later age. This trend has been clearly visible since 2008 and is once again confirmed by Merck’s research. The research shows that women prefer to become mothers around the age of 28. The reality is that women in Spain are on average 32 years old when they have their first child. This is the second highest age compared to other mothers from European countries. 

Having a child at a later age not only poses health risks for mother and child, but also does not help the alarming aging population in Spain. Women not only have fewer children later, but also often fewer children than they initially wanted. The average number of children in Europe is 2, but in Spain this average is much lower, at 1.19. 

Interested in help with children in Spain 

Despite the fact that the birth rate in Spain is falling, 72% of Spanish women say they would like to become a mother. The fact is, however, that if you wait longer, you are statistically more likely to have to rely on assisted reproduction because you become less fertile after age 35. 

Despite the fact that the taboo to talk about this topic is still too big, help to conceive is becoming more and more popular in Spain. One in ten babies born in Spain was conceived thanks to an assisted reproductive method. 

Also read: The Spanish cities with the highest average number of babies

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