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Rural filmmaker breaks infertility silence

Infertility is seldom talked about in rural communities but award-winning filmmaker Molatelo Maenetja has made a film, When Babies Don’t Come, to break the stigma surrounding the issue.

Molatelo discovered she was infertile in 2006, eight years after having an ectopic pregnancy – a complication in which the embryo attaches outside the uterus – while she was still a student at the University of Limpopo.

She said the doctors who treated her didn’t explain to her about the severity of the ectopic pregnancy and that it may affect her ability to conceive, which it did.

Infertility journey

“I don’t like being a victim. I could be blaming the government, the health care system for my infertility but I don’t want to do that,” said Molatelo.

The filmmaker said by documenting her infertility journey she hopes to reach women who are going through similar issues.

“I would like to break the silence surrounding infertility. I would like to deal with stigmatization. Why is it okay for someone to say ‘I’m diabetic’, but everyone wants to sweep infertility under the carpet?” she asked.

Maenetja said some women’s conditions could be treated if they consulted specialists but due to the stigmatisation, beliefs and socio-economic problems they are left untreated and undiagnosed.

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