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Today I’m welcoming Afton Vechery to the podcast!

We’re digging into taking a proactive approach to your fertility early in the journey.

Afton Vechery is on a mission to integrate the growing and buzzy fertility sector more broadly into women’s culture and mainstream wellness. Her company, Modern Fertility, offers an at-home hormone test—the same one given in fertility clinics, but for a fraction of the price. It’s designed to get women to think more proactively and earlier about their reproductive health. The company recently expanded into ovulation and pregnancy tests and launched an app that helps read and track test results.

The San Francisco startup, which Vechery co-founded in 2017, has raised $22 million from the likes of Maveron, Union Square Ventures, and Kirsten Green’s Forerunner Ventures, which tellingly has also backed hot consumer companies like Dollar Shave Club and Warby Parker. Afton herself was featured on Forbes 30 under 30, and just recently Fortune 40 Under 40 list as well. 

In my teens, my periods were so heavy and I would bleed through the pads (it was especially mortifying during high school as I was always worried people could see the huge pad or that I was leaking!).

And then in my early 20’s, my periods disappeared altogether and I was placed on hormonal birth control and then diagnosed with premature ovarian insufficiency/failure at 28.

My body was desperately trying to tell me something and the first line of defense was not to discover WHY my periods were heavy and then disappearing – but to give me the pill.

The reason I share my story is so that other women do not have to struggle like I did – thinking that the only option is IVF and/or donor eggs.

If we intervene early and take a proactive approach with our fertility we can reverse the symptoms and get pregnant naturally. I’ve seen it over and over again. The body wants to heal.

In this episode you’ll learn:

1) How the conversation around women’s health is changing and why fertility such a hot topic (especially for young women).

2) The conventional parameters around fertility testing and why this approach is outdated (i.e. TTC are told to wait 1 year or 6 months over 35). How to be your own advocate.

3) Which questions we should be asking our OB/Gyn so that we don’t waste time.

TIMESTAMPS:

07:03- AFTON’S PERSONAL STORY

10:00- THE TRENDS WITH WOMEN’S HORMONES AND FERTILITY 

  • “We know our bodies best.”
  • The importance of understanding your body and having your information accessible

11:57- THE EDUCATION SYSTEM AND NORMALIZING WOMEN’S HEALTH

  • “As women, we owe it to ourselves to make these conversations normal”
  • Taking fertility and bringing it into mainstream wellness
  • The cultural transition we are in and why it’s important

14:00- ISSUES WITH YOUR PERIOD AND THE PILL

  • The importance of being educated on the side of effects of your medication
  • “Irregular periods are not normal.”
  • The impact of the pill on hormones and irregular periods 
  • Why it is so important to know what is going on with your body and how it uncovers healing opportunities

18:33-  RESEARCH ON THE MODERN STATE OF FERTILITY

  • The links between fertility, finances, and the impact of covid

20:46 PREMATURE OVARIAN DEFICIENCY 

  • Statistics and the lack of information
  • The impact that an early diagnosis provides
  • “It doesn’t have to be your destiny to have donor eggs.”

23:31- HOW DO WE TAKE A PROACTIVE APPROACH WITH OUR REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH?

  • Understanding your productive health as a part of your core health

25:08- WHAT TESTING AFTON’S COMPANY PROVIDES

  • The gap they found in the market within testing and how they are filling it

29:06- RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

30:17- SUCCESS STORY

31:25- WHERE YOU CAN CONNECT WITH AFTON

Resources:

 

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