Here’s a paper jointly written by Abha Khetarpal (Non-institutional expert, Enabling Unit) and myself (Founder, InfiniteAbility; Coordinator, Enabling Unit) on infertility as disability.
Khetarpal A, Singh S. Infertility: Why can’t we classify this inability as disability? Australas Med J. 2012;5(6):316-321
Disability is a complex phenomenon. It reflects an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives. International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), lays stress on the functional as well as the structural problem of a person. All the definitions of disability also include the disorders of the reproductive and endocrine system. So infertility and impotency should also be included in the category of disability. It affects the participation in areas of life and can have a disabling affect on an individual. Like any other disability the couple has to adapt and integrate infertility in their sense of self thus infertility comes as a major life crisis. Medically, infertility, in most cases, is considered to be the result of a physical impairment or a genetic abnormality. Socially, couples are incapable of their reproductive or parental roles. On social level, infertility in most cultures remains associated with social stigma and taboo just like the social model of disability. Couples who are unable to reproduce may be looked down upon due to social stigmatisation. Infertility can lead to divorces and separation leading to a broken family life. Without labelling infertility as a disability, it is difficult for the people to access services and welfare benefits offered by the government. Infertility treatments are highly sophisticated so they are very expensive and are even not covered by insurance and government aid. In the light of all this it becomes imperative to categorise infertility as disability.
Read the full article here on PubMed Central.