Anna Victoria Gets Real About the 'Fertility Stigma' in Her Latest Podcast

As far as women have come in many respects, there's still a lot of stigma surrounding our bodies and health. 

That stigma—and how we can work toward destroying it—is covered in this week's episode of  ‘Your Best Life,’ a new podcast hosted by Anna Victoria, the CEO and founder of the Fit Body app, a fitness influencer and a personal trainer and produced by our parent company, Gallery Media Group. 

In the pod's second episode, Anna chats with Dr. Jolene Brighten, women's health naturopathic medical doctor and author of Beyond the Pill. Dr. Brighten believes that every woman (and the men in her life) should get to know their hormones, because only by understanding how her body works can a woman make informed, healthy choices about interventions such as birth control. 

The two cover a wide range of hot-button women's health issues, including the blatant sexism found in medicine (like labeling PMS as hysteria—eye roll).  On the subject of gender bias, Dr. Brighten reveals that studies have shown time and time again that women are more likely to have their pain dismissed and not receive adequate care. Instead, women are often told that they're being too anxious or paranoid, and that they should go home and have a glass of wine to take the edge off.

They also speak about the scrutiny influencers come under when they talk about their health. (Anna—who is expecting her first child—has been very open about her fertility struggles.) Dr. Brighten says that those who are critical of influencers sharing those aspects of their lives are missing the point, since no one can know how that openness about the less-glamorous parts of their lives can help others. They agree that it's the reluctance to have these conversations about having trouble conceiving—or being unable to conceive—that perpetuate the stigma that infertility is in some way a character flaw, or makes you less of a woman. 

In case you missed the first episode of the podcast, Anna spoke to writer and body positive activist Sarah Nicole Landry, known online as The Birds Papaya. The two talked about the pressures of social media, dealing with online trolls, pretending your life is together when it feels like it's falling apart, self-love and more. (Aka you should listen about it if you haven't yet.) 

We're already ready for next week's installment. (Remember: New episodes are available every Tuesday wherever you get your podcasts.)

sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...