Maven Clinic, the virtual clinic for women’s and family health, has released findings from a new study exploring women’s perceptions of their fertility and what influences their beliefs about their ability to become pregnant. The study, which captured the sentiment of 1,500 women ages 28-38 living in five large U.S. cities, sheds light on the factors contributing to women’s emotional wellbeing as they consider starting a family and what the healthcare and benefits industries can do to better educate and empower patients on their fertility and family-building journeys.
Maven’s Fertility and Family-Building program supports female, male and non-binary patients as they plan and grow their families. While male and female factors contribute equally to infertility, this survey was designed to focus on the unique experiences and perceptions of women. Key takeaways from the study include:
- At least 3 in 4 women believe more than three falsehoods about their fertility — these range from perceptions of how long-term birth control usage impacts fertility to the need for regular fertility testing over a certain age.
- At least 4 in 5 women experience some level of anxiety when thinking about their ability to get pregnant; more than a quarter are extremely or very anxious.
- More than 3 in 4 women surveyed have experienced an increase in their anxiety regarding their ability to get pregnant in the last several years.
- Age is a source of anxiety among most women, with at least 59% citing it as one of the top contributors. Women surveyed start to think about their fertility when they are between 19-21 years old.
- Nearly 1 in 3 women say social media, advertising and the news are the most influential factors regarding their feelings about fertility. OB-GYNs and female friends were listed as other influential sources.
Maven Founder & CEO Kate Ryder shares: “From a young age, women are told the clock is ticking and made to feel vulnerable about their ability to have children. This culture of reproductive anxiety is deeply embedded in our society, and demands a new approach to reproductive healthcare rooted in compassion, empathy, and facts.”
Neel Shah, Maven’s Chief Medical Officer, adds: “These data underscore the harm women experience from pervasive and often false information about their fertility. We all have a role to play, but those offering fertility solutions are ultimately accountable. People deserve trustworthy sources of information, and affirming, scientifically-grounded support that does not stoke anxiety or add unnecessary cost.”