According to a new survey conducted by Fertilligence, a new integrative fertility coaching platform, the majority of couples have been trying to conceive a baby for over one year (45 percent) and are also experiencing moderate to high stress (89 percent). Despite both of these factors, most are not following basic fertility-enhancing practices.
The survey, which was conducted online from September through November of 2020, analyzed responses from over 1,000 women in various stages of their fertility journey (from trying for baby for less than six months to trying to conceive for over a year).
The survey covered a variety of lifestyle factors surrounding fertility including nutrition, exercise, weight, mood, sleeping habits, couples’ connection, and more. Only one respondent in over 1,000 indicated she is following all the recommended steps to boost her fertility. As many as 88 percent indicated a lack of understanding of fertility-boosting recommendations, adding that they do not follow the suggested nutrition guidelines that have been documented to provide tangible fertility benefits. An encouraging note is that most (65 percent) reported maintaining a strong connection to their partner while on this journey.
“It is disheartening to see that couples are not following basic, simple steps that could help them conceive. Medical studies have shown that factors such as nutrition, exercise, quality of sleep, psychological stress, environmental and occupational exposures, and others can affect fertility as well as how long it takes to get pregnant,” stated Dr. Felice Gersh, M.D., a multi-award-winning physician with dual board certifications in OB-GYN and Integrative Medicine and the bestselling author of PCOS SOS and the PCOS SOS Fertility Fast Track. “We in the medical field have to do better to educate couples on the importance of embracing an integrative approach to fertility.”
“When efforts to become pregnant are not rapidly successful, the process to conceive often becomes incredibly stressful for a couple, even in ‘normal’ circumstances. Now we are in the midst of a pandemic and the added economic and societal uncertainties have dramatically increased stress levels. Elevated levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, can negatively impact ovulation and fertility, exacerbating the significant stress impact of infertility and likely further negatively affecting the fertility status of the couples in the survey,” concluded Dr. Gersh, M.D.
“With the Internet at our fingertips so many of us try to educate ourselves on just about anything that is out of our own expertise, and fertility is no different. What the results of our survey showed is that while we all like to think that we know what we are doing, sometimes, and especially when it comes to subjects as personal and complicated as fertility—we need help—” said Evgueni Malikov, Global Head of Fertilligence. “What the survey revealed is that we have two sets of couples on this journey: those unaware of all the factors that go into the fertility equation and those who are aware but are not following best practices. Regardless, making healthy lifestyle changes is not as simple as pulling a switch. We all know that. When your body is in self-defense mode dealing with sleep deprivation, stress, malnutrition, and other unhealthy habits, it is not set-up for conceiving. It takes from weeks to months to reset it, and the most effective way of doing it is by having access to trusted information, tools, and an expert support system,” continued Malikov.
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