Saw It On Social: Modern Fertility
Mar 4, 2019
Last year, I was at an event, when a woman in her 20s, with three children, asked if Kyle and I were planning to have kids. When I deflected (because who wants to have this conversation with someone you met barely 20-minutes ago?), she said, “Well, you’d have a geriatric pregnancy now, what do they call it if you wait until 40?”
After I finished burying her body in the backyard, I asked a friend who had children later in life for some advice. “The only thing I wish I had done sooner is go to the doctor. If something’s not right, you want to know before, not after six-months of trying.”
Decisions have consequences. When I decided that I wasn’t going to date for nearly a decade, I knew that putting off dating meant putting off having a family. Even though it’s very in vogue, I opted out of freezing my eggs due to a combination of cost and lower-than-expected success rates. So like many career-oriented women, I find myself in my mid-thirties wondering if having children is in the cards for me.
Enter Modern Fertility.
Like many tech startups, Modern Fertility claims to be disrupting the fertility industry while providing women with knowledge about their reproductive health. For $159, you can receive an in-home test kit (or opt for the lab visit) that tests eight hormones commonly associated with reproductive health. It also provides access to online resources and health information.
My Testing Experience
I received my test in early January and held onto it until the third day of my period, when you’re supposed to test. I also made sure Kyle was here because I have a bone-crushing phobia of needles, and knew I would never be able to prick my finger myself.
Once my finger was pricked, I was expected to fill two rather large sample cards with blood. This was not as simple as anticipated, and required a lot more blood than I expected. But once it was done, I packed up the cards in the pre-addressed box and sent them back to Modern Fertility.
Then, I waited. And waited. And e-mailed. And waited. And e-mailed again. Waited some more. Called. E-mailed. Waited. You get the picture.
The company tells you that they’ll have your results back to you in 7-10 business days. In my case, it was 26. And it was only after a fifth e-mail, pointing out the previous four e-mails and phone calls, that I got a response saying my test would be ready the next week.
I received my results on a Tuesday. Modern Fertility scheduled a private, group conference call with a “fertility nurse” for the next day. This call allows women in that week’s testing group to ask questions anonymously, but I was in a committee hearing and couldn’t participate. Testers also have the option to schedule a one-on-one consultation and have the results forwarded to their doctor.
So am I happy with my testing experience?
Well, according to the tests, all of my hormones are “within range,” but every section of the test comes with a depressing caveat about “being over 35” or “because you’re 36.” It’s essentially their way of saying, “Sure, everything looks normal, but we make no guarantees about how meaningful this information is because you’re past the age when science says you had a good chance of having a healthy pregnancy/kid.” So while I’m glad I took the test, the results don’t mean much to me in this vacuum.
I think the results will be more meaningful once I can talk to my physician about them more in depth. However, since I’m not currently trying to get pregnant, they’re not extraordinarily illuminating.
As for the testing process itself, this was easier for me than going to a doctor. One, because I’m not in the same city as my doctor right now. Second, because I could avoid a real blood draw, which for me, is worth its weight in gold. And lastly, I liked the casual way I could take the test at home, send it off, and not have it feel like this overwhelming, official medical test.
Would I recommend Modern Fertility?
If you’re looking to get an overview of your reproductive health, it’s a convenient way to do that. It’s also helpful for starting a conversation with your physician about your goals and options. But don’t go into this test thinking that it’s going to provide you with life-altering clarity. It is, at its most helpful, a tool.
Also, while I didn’t get any big news from my test, there is no guarantee that your test will be as mundane. An acquaintance who also took the test discovered that, at 31, her hormone levels suggested she might be entering an early menopause. You can imagine the impact this has had on her life. But when I asked her, she was glad that she had the information so she could follow up with her doctor. So be aware that this can have consequences for your life that you may not have anticipated.
Bottom line, if you’re curious, the Modern Fertility test is a tool to learn more. Don’t expect too much from it, but be open to the information it can provide you. And if you hate needles, I highly recommend finding someone to prick your finger for you.
Saw It On Social is a column where I review the products that Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest think I need to buy. I do not request freebies, and I do not accept them. Full disclosure, I had talked to Modern Fertility about doing a different kind of sponsored post when they launched, and ultimately decided that it wasn’t right for this type of review. No money changed hands, and I purchased my test myself.