What's your fertility doctor not telling you?
Updated: May 12
Women say they aren’t getting the kind of advice they want from doctors and clinics on the lifestyle steps they can take before and during fertility treatments...
Researchers and medical professionals agree that lifestyle factors can have an important impact on IVF clinical outcomes.
But according to a 2019 ELANZA survey of 89 women, half of those who had undergone treatment were dissatisfied with the information they received from their doctors and clinics on the lifestyles and behaviors that could influence their fertility treatment outcome.
This dissatisfaction could stem from the belief that clinics are the very places women want or expect to find that information. Results from the ELANZA survey indicate that almost every woman wanted or expected to get lifestyle information from her doctor, more than any other source of information (such as from friends, family or online).
This highlights the disconnect between what women want and the current situation.
The emphasis here is that women want information on what could work, which tends to be a different standard of proof that Western medicine doctors usually require.
As well as the potential benefits that lifestyle changes can have on fertility treatment outcomes, women from the survey also said that getting actively involved in treatment can have big benefits for their wider emotional experience.
Retaining a little control in a time when it feels like everything is out of your hands is a powerful thing; this is something Harvard researchers also identified: they found that people undergoing IVF want to be treated more like a “partner” than a “patient.”
One of the women in our survey told us:
That’s because, regardless of the outcome, almost all the women wanted to know they’d given it their best shot:
Research has shown that women actually do end up making poor lifestyle choices during fertility treatment, perhaps in part due to a lack of information - and yet, the vast majority of clinics currently don’t offer a lifestyle program to help them make better choices.
We’re obviously champions of the holistic, patient-centric approach, thanks to our own experiences and our work helping clinics change their patient experience via ELANZA Wellness.
Let us know your own thoughts on how fertility clinics currently do things. Have you had treatment yourself? How was your own experience? Comment below...