Can Social Support on Facebook Influence Fertility Outcomes?

Netanella Miller, Chen Pundak, Gal Cohen, Gal Issakov, Hadar Gluska, Erika Gandelsman, Emilie Klochendler Frishman, Liron David, Shiran Peretz Bookstein, Jacob Goldenberg, Amir Wiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Social support is known to reduce stress and increase quality of life among patients undergoing IVF. Increasing social media use introduces a social support mechanism, yet data regarding the effect of this support on IVF outcomes are scarce. This observational, retrospective cohort study included women undergoing their first IVF cycle at an academic tertiary medical center. Fertility outcomes were compared between 82 women who were active users of social media (posting on Facebook at least 3 times a week) and 83 women who did not use Facebook or any other social media platform (the control group). For the social media group, we coded all Facebook Feed activities (Posts, Comments, Likes) for each participant up to 8 weeks prior to beta hCG test. Social support was measured by average Likes and Comments per post, on fertility outcomes. The social media group included more single women than the control group (17% vs. 5%, respectively, p = 0.012) and had a shorter infertility duration (1.6 ± 0.9 years vs. 2.3 ± 1.4, respectively, p = 0.001(. We found a trend in fertilization rates between groups (social media group 58% vs. controls 50%, p = 0.07). No difference was found regarding pregnancy rate between groups (p = 0.587). The social media group had a lower miscarriage rate compared to the controls (6% vs. 25%, p = 0.042). These results were also validated in the multivariant regression analysis. Social support (via Facebook) may have a positive effect on IVF outcomes, especially regarding miscarriages rate, with minor effect regrading fertilization rate and no effect regarding pregnancy rate. Therefore, encouraging women to be active on Facebook during treatment, including OPU day, may impact treatment results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)212-219
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive Sciences
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Keywords

  • Facebook
  • Fertility outcomes
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Social media
  • Social support

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