If you’ve logged onto TikTok or Instagram recently, you may have noticed the seemingly endless scroll of videos claiming to help you improve your health and fertility. Some are from legitimate medical providers, some are from people with absolutely zero credentials; a lot of it is conflicting, and, if you’re anything like me, all of it is overwhelming.  

You should be exercising 5-6 times per week for optimal health and fertility — but you shouldn’t work out too hard during your period, or else you’ll disrupt your hormones. You should get rid of all of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals in your home — even though terms like “clean,” “green,” and “eco-friendly” aren’t regulated by a governing body. You should be dry brushing daily — because while “rest is productive,” that doesn’t mean you should be doing nothing. You should stress less — but not so little that it seems like you don’t care. It’s exhausting, to say the least. 

Without even realizing it, every single day we are exposed to thousands of different messages telling us how to take care of our bodies and minds when we don’t even have the proper, fundamental Sex Education to take in this new information. 

The truth is: Sex Ed did us dirty, and we now have the data to prove it.

At Rescripted, we surveyed 1,000 of our community members on what they learned in Sex Ed vs. what they didn’t. And while we can’t say we’re surprised by what we found, it validated what we’ve suspected all along — that very few people understand their bodies, let alone the bodies of others, and there’s no singular, trustworthy place to go to get educated on it. 

Did you know that 94% of people rely on the internet or social media for answers to questions about their reproductive and sexual health? And yet, 76% believe the internet and social media are a source of misinformation and don’t entirely trust it.

So, the majority of people are turning to Dr. Google — or worse, TikTok — for their most burning health and wellness questions, without knowing if the information they are receiving is science-backed or even accurate. 

This is an issue, especially when it comes to fertility and family-building. 

Thanks to Sex Ed teaching us more about pregnancy prevention than fertility awareness — and many taking what they see in the media at face value — only 29% of people feel they are experts on their own bodies; only 35% feel educated about the menstrual cycle; and only 18% feel educated on their hormones. In a society where 80% of women will suffer from a hormonal issue in their lifetime, and 1 in 5 couples struggle with infertility, these statistics are alarming. 

When it comes to basic reproductive anatomy and sexual health, the outlook is even more dire: 32% of people think a person who menstruates can’t pee with a tampon in; and 25% of people with a uterus’ aren’t comfortable talking to a sexual partner about birth control, fertility, or STIs. So, while we’ve come a long way in bringing attention to “taboo” topics like the menstrual cycle and STIs, we still have a long way to go.  

Without a basic understanding of your health, it’s challenging to improve it. Without a basic knowledge of other people’s health, it’s challenging to support them. That stops here. 

Instead of leaving women to figure out for themselves how to diagnose and treat conditions like endometriosis and PCOS, what if we gave them the tools and resources they need to make their own informed decisions with the help of a trusted healthcare provider? 

What if we taught young people about their reproductive, hormonal, and sexual health in a way that leaves them feeling empowered over their bodies, instead of uncomfortable or scared?

What if we helped individuals and couples understand their fertility and how to get ahead of it, so they’re not waiting until they decide to have kids to be proactive? 

What if we bridged the gap between conventional and alternative medicine, so people are aware of all of their options when pursuing optimal fertility, whole-person health, and pregnancy prevention?

What if we painted an accurate picture of sex, STIs, sexuality, and sexual experiences so people can better know what to expect, explore for themselves, and be accepting of different ideologies? 

Be the expert in you.

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What if we taught people skills for how to talk through complex topics with partners, family members, and healthcare providers, so they can be their own advocates with complete confidence?

What if we painted one’s reproductive, hormonal, and sexual health as a 360-ecosystem, rather than one-dimensional?

At Rescripted, we fundamentally believe that information about our health and wellness should be free and accessible to all — while also being science-backed, accurate, and presented in a way that meets you exactly where you are. We’re here when you’re ready to become an expert in your own body.

Read the full report, “The State of Sex Ed in America” here.

Kristyn Hodgdon is the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Rescripted.