Tag Archives: social infertility

A Somewhat Different Insurance Issue

I’ve written in the past (before the long hiatus–can I start saying “BH”?) about issues around ART and insurance.   There are a lot of tough questions around this.   ART is expensive.   It is health care.   Is it/should it be covered by insurance?   Does the need for ART have to arise from medical infertility rather than social infertility?

(These are tricky questions/categories.   A lesbian couple where at least one woman has fully functioning reproductive systems is sometimes said to be socially rather than medically infertile. But how is this different from a woman  with a fully functioning reproductive system who is partnered with a man who cannot produce sperm?  She is also socially infertile, I think?)

Anyway, I’m not going to review all that here.    I am sure these issues will arise again and I will discuss them as needed.  You can always dig around in the older entries, too.  (This reminds me–I have not been using tags, but I think I will start to do so again.)

So to today’s thoughts, spurred by this article from the morning paper.  (There’s a slightly more detailed version here, but I can only access page one of two.)    Erin and Marianne Krupa are a married lesbian couple who live in Montclair, NJ.  (This happens to be my hometown.)   They want to have a child.   But Erin Krupa, who they decided would carry the first child, has stage 3 endometriosis.   That means she is infertile.  And here I do mean medically infertile.  She has a medical condition that prevents her from conceiving/carrying a pregnancy by ordinary means.   It has nothing to do with the health or sex/gender of her spouse.   Continue reading

Fertility/Infertility for Couples and Change Over Time

There are several lively conversations currently going on in the comments.  I’m not at all sure I can sustain all of them.  But having spent some time revisiting the post on social infertility I wanted to consolidate some of the thoughts I’ve had and move them here.  (After a while I find it very difficult to read through the comments.  It just gets to be too many indents, etc.)

This particular thread of conversation started with some musings of mine about “social infertility.”   This is a term that has gained currency only fairly recently.   I would guess (though I do not know) that forty years ago it was unknown.    And I can see why the emergence of the term would be linked to the development of assisted reproductive technology as an industry/commercial enterprise.

There’s more to be said about that, no doubt, but there’s a different line I want to follow for the moment.    I want to think about infertility in couples as opposed to in individuals.   Continue reading

Back To Social Infertility

A couple posts back I put up something on “social infertility”–a phrase I had run across that struck me as interesting.   Then just as the discussion there got going, the Florida Supreme Court issued an important opinion and I got sidetracked.   Now I want to return to the social infertility discussion, but tie in something that made more apparent by the Florida case.

One thing was particularly striking to me in the discussion around social infertility.   I began with the assumption that “social infertility” was rather a disparaging term.   Those who were merely “socially” infertile could be distinguished from those who were “medically” (or perhaps “really”) infertile.    Since they weren’t “really” infertile they might be entitled to lesser concern–perhaps not covered by insurance or maybe even not able to access fertility services.

But my assumption was, if not wrong, at least debatable.   Continue reading

Do We Need To Talk About “Social Infertility?”

There’s a phrase I’ve seen a few times recently that has gotten me thinking–it’s “social infertility.”   I think it is worth spending a little time understanding what the term adds.

I think there are at least two separate questions to address–but they are so intertwined I don’t know if I can really separate them.  And one of them–the first–seems to me to be sort of messy on its own.

The first question is what “social infertility” means.  This seems to require thinking about what “infertility” means when used without the modifier.   The second question is why a distinct term like “social infertility” might be useful.  All in all this seems like a surprisingly knotty problem.   Continue reading