Reproductive health and community: It takes a village
24th June 2020
We know from our users and our own first-hand experiences, that reproductive and sexual health journeys can be extremely isolating and lonely. For experiences that are relatively common the taboo surrounding them means they, unfortunately, result in a deafening silence. This is not where we should be in 2020, society needs to catch up. We need better community, sharing and support around our reproductive health experiences and Adia aims to be part of this.
The current situation
It’s common knowledge that our reproductive health experiences affect our mental and emotional health. For example, our latest user research showed that 80% of women who have been trying to conceive for between 6-12 months feel below-average levels of optimism.
Part of this can be attributed to the physical experience itself from pain to grief or a lack of support from healthcare professionals. A large part of this is also related to the fact that many of these experiences from endo to miscarriage and infertility are taboo. This means that there are few (if any) spaces or people to say ‘I see you, I may not be able to fix it, but you are not alone’.
Last year we partnered with the Wellcome Trust and UCL for an important research project. The pilot study explored how preconception health, interventions and communities, such as Adia, can have a positive impact on the physical and mental health of women utilising such interventions.
On average, the 400 Adia users tracked over the 90-day period saw a positive impact on all of the factors we measured. This included increased knowledge of fertility health, an increase in perceived support and lower stress levels.
These results confirmed that we are on our way to building better support and communities, but we still have a way to go.
The perfect village
Community around reproductive health can take many forms. For some, it may be talking with your nearest and dearest, to employees having supportive reproductive health policies for their teams. For others, it can be joining purpose-built communities such as Adia. Our product is driven by the evolving needs of our community and from speaking to you, we’ve identified the key ingredients to build a communal space:
Intersectional & representative
Creating an inclusive community goes beyond just stating who the community is (and isn’t for); It’s ensuring the space can hold the full range of journeys and stories of the community it is built for. This is something we are constantly looking to improve here at Adia. As part this we have experts from a range of backgrounds and with different skill sets. Our aim is not inclusivity, but intersectionality at every point leading to belonging.
Safe & supportive
As with personal relationships, the best communities have healthy boundaries. These keep people safe both from people outside of the group but also within the group itself.
A space to be seen & see
Communities thrive not necessarily those who create them, but by the members who are part of the village. Going back to belonging, we aim to create a space where people can be seen and see themselves reflected. This is both through peer to peer and peer to expert connections and communication.
“Turns out pregnancy difficulties are super common but I never realised until I started talking to close friends about it. So I really love that you started this!”
Community means many things and so we encourage you to engage with us however works best for you:
- Message our holistic team of experts directly by joining the Adia platform for free
- Access peer-to-peer support in our private Facebook group
- Join our weekly #SundaySofaSessions where we have a live conversation with our community members (experts and users) on our Instagram page
- Our DM’s on Instagram and Facebook are always open
This is just the start of how we are building a community here at Adia. Thanks to your ongoing feedback, we’ve got some exciting changes coming in the next few weeks. These will hopefully help you feel even more supported, seen and connected with yourself and others throughout your journey. More updates coming soon!