I’ll be honest: the first time I heard about Modern Fertility, I immediately thought, “Why would people want to test their fertility hormones at home when there are doctors like me out there who can talk to them about fertility?” This is a very common and similar response I’ve heard among women’s health providers about new healthcare companies that have launched over the past few years.
But after digging more into the science behind at-home fertility hormone testing, and seeing wave after wave of patients come in with fertility hormone test results in-hand, eager to get proactive about their reproductive health, I realized I was 100% on board with Modern Fertility’s mission. Like me, Modern Fertility has a research-obsessed approach to fertility education. I was hooked.
As an OB-GYN subspecialized in Complex Family Planning, one of the core tenants of the care I provide is an overarching trust in women. I trust women to know when or not to be pregnant, and when and how to parent. With that frame of mind — trusting that they will make the right choices for their unique individual lives — I also realize that I am not a gatekeeper of medical information, but rather an educator and support person. Not everyone has access to high quality healthcare; that’s one of the most pervasive problems today in our country, especially in light of COVID-19. If I assume that all people can access doctors like me and have reassuring, comprehensive discussions about their fertility, then I am assuming a lens of privilege that only worsens barriers to care.
Now more than ever, we must equip people with the knowledge, resources, and support to be active decision makers in their own healthcare, and that is why I decided to join the Modern Fertility team as a medical advisor. Testing fertility hormones may be the move that brings a person into the clinic to sit down with me for a thorough review of their medical history. Or it may be the first data point they have in realizing that their menstrual cycles may hold more truth to their future pregnancy plans than they previously realized. Or it may inspire a powerful exploration of how they want to navigate their career, money, family planning and personal life. No matter the specific utility for an individual person, I am here to help navigate concerns and answer questions, not put up roadblocks about who can and cannot access this personal information.
A friend of mine recently asked, “Why do people even need to know what their fertility hormone levels are if they’re having normal periods?” One big reason: information garnered from a fertility hormone panel can help people understand how their fertility changes over time so that they can take action and be proactive about their fertility planning.
(Plus... today you can determine your exact percentage of Neanderthal DNA through services like 23andMe, so why on earth would I say that someone shouldn’t be able to check their thyroid levels?)
I’m honored to be joining the Modern Fertility team as they expand to add more fertility hormone essentials such as Pregnancy Tests, Ovulation Tests, and their new app. I’m excited to work alongside an entire community of people who also wholeheartedly trust and believe in women to make the choices they know are best for their reproductive lives.