Change the conversation around fertility and reproductive health
18th June 2020
As you may have heard, things are changing at Adia… In the next few weeks, we’ll be announcing an exciting rebrand that involves new products, a new focus and even a new name! But one thing that isn’t changing is our mission to create a trusted community where womxn and womxn’s health experts together enable accessible, proactive and personalised care for fertility.
One thing that has become abundantly clear to us is that the conversation around fertility and reproductive health needs to change. This was a concept we have always been passionate about, but through the rebranding process – and hundreds of conversations between our team and community – we realised how important it was for us to be part of this movement. This means looking at how we do things internally and also galvanizing others to do the same. Whilst this has been our plan for a long time, the events of the last few weeks have compounded just how crucial it is that we are doing part to make reproductive healthcare as inclusive as possible. We want to change the conversation around reproductive health and fertility – will you help us?
The conversation needs to stop being taboo
This has always been a key focus for us at Adia. When we first started out on this mission, we were striving to end the taboo around baby loss. This was something that had personally affected founders Lina and Tyler, and they knew that by breaking down the stigma around miscarriage and infertility we could help untold amounts of people who were going through the same thing. But through the last two years, it’s become clear that almost every area of reproductive health is still shrouded in shame – and this needs to change.
From hiding tampons up our sleeves en route to the bathroom to not telling anyone that we are dealing with infertility – society tells us that we should stay quiet about our bodies and our reproductive health. This not only can make us feel isolated and alone at some of life’s most difficult junctures, but it can also stop us getting the support we need when we need it the most. We are on a mission to open up the conversation around reproductive health and create a community that is a shame-free zone.
The conversation needs to be more inclusive
The events of the last few weeks have made it clear that systemic racism impacts every single area of our society – including reproductive health. Whilst the shocking statistics and heart-wrenching stories are nothing new, the current landscape has given everyone some time for reflection and to acknowledge that once and for all, things need to change.
Representation and research in this space have always been skewed towards a certain demographic (read: white women) and this means that many marginalised voices are not being heard – and people are not getting the culturally sensitive – or scientifically backed – support they need. A quick read of our latest blog post ‘Why Black Lives Matter in Reproductive Health’ reveals just how prevalent the racial disparities are within reproductive healthcare. Black women are 5 times more likely to die in childbirth and twice as likely to have a stillborn baby than white women – to name but a few shocking statistics – and for this to change, the conversation needs to change too.
But this need for inclusivity extends beyond race. We need to work to ensure fertility services are accessible for those with disabilities, dispel the myth that only women have periods and shine a light on the fertility journeys of the queer community. We want to create a space that is safe, helpful and welcoming to everyone and that goes for everything – from the language we use to the experts on our team.
The conversation needs to start sooner
One of the key pillars of Adia is being proactive. Our hormone tests and expert-led community encourage people to get in touch with their fertility way before they start trying to conceive. We believe this gives you the time to understand your body and be informed about your options before you are faced with any potential issues. From personal experience, we know how overwhelming it can be to be confronted with confusing jargon and a myriad of test results when you are already in the emotionally vulnerable place of navigating a fertility journey. Starting to think and talk about your fertility head of time stops you being on the back foot and can empower you to plan effectively.
However, we also know that this goes beyond proactive family planning – it’s actually about education from the earliest stages. We believe that fertility education should be part of the school syllabus – in the same way, that teaching you how to not to get pregnant is. If young people grow up with a better understanding of their reproductive health, they are less likely to fall victim to the confusing myths and old wive’s tales that leave many feeling ill-equipped to deal with fertility challenges that may arise later in life.
The conversation needs to stop being all about babies
Fertility is obviously a huge part of the work we do at Adia – we help people navigate their road to parenthood and offer support when things don’t go the way they planned. However, we feel it’s crucial that the conversation around reproductive health no longer revolves solely around babies. For some people, motherhood is not for them – but does that mean they shouldn’t be included in conversations around hormone testing, cycle tracking and period health? We don’t think so.
Our hormones govern almost everything in our bodies – from our digestion to our productivity. Likewise, our periods can be an indication of health issues not directly connected with fertility, such as cervical cancer. We believe people should have autonomy over their reproductive wellness and fertility, and that those things shouldn’t only garner attention and conversation in the context of parenthood. Your body is yours, and it’s important, whether you want to have a baby or not. We are aiming to create a space where people feel they can discuss their body on their terms – regardless of whether they are on a fertility journey or not.
The conversation needs to change
These are just some of the areas we are passionate about changing in the next phase of our business, but this is a layered, complex issue that will take more than one blog post to dissect! We are launching an ongoing campaign focused on changing the conversation around reproductive health and we want you to be part of it. If you are passionate about inclusive healthcare and want to help us on our mission – get in touch! Whether it’s writing a guest blog, partnering on an online event or becoming a founding member of our new expert-led community, we want to hear from you!
For more details on how you can get involved in the campaign please contact email@example.com