NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More women seem to be in less of a hurry to have a family.
CDC figures show for the first time ever, women in their 30s are having more children than those in their 20s. But putting off having a child can affect a woman’s chances of conceiving.
Modern Fertility, a San Francisco-based startup, has launched an at-home hormone test, similar to those in fertility clinics, to help.
Lauren Denham is a lifestyle blogger and actress. She said she was so focused on her career that having children didn’t cross her mind until she turned 30 last year.
“I was like well I’m not ready, but my body is and it probably is time to start thinking about it,” said Denham. “And that’s when I started thinking about maybe I should freeze my eggs, look at my options.”
Because eggs decrease in both quantity and quality with age, an increasing number of women are choosing to freeze their eggs during their prime reproductive years. Denham wanted to know whether she should move forward or wait, which led her to Modern Fertility.
“This was something that I could literally order online right now, get the test, test it on my own time, and get the results in a few days,” said Denham.
After a woman orders the test online, she pricks her finger, places the drop of blood on a test strip and sends it back to an accredited lab where it’s tested for nine hormones. The company then sends back a physician-reviewed online profile explaining how her hormone levels may affect the number of eggs she has left, if she’s ovulating normally, and potential red flags that could affect her fertile window.
Carly Leahy and Afton Vechery co-founded Modern Fertility last year. They wanted to make testing done at fertility clinics easily available to women everywhere.
“We’re really speaking to women much earlier in life who know that a career may be important and they may want to have children down the road, but want to be able to check in proactively,” said Leahy.
So why not just go to a fertility clinic?
“We’re really working with women before they get to a doctor’s office and giving them this information so that they can have a more informed conversation with the doctor,” said Vechery.
Industry experts say getting this testing done and consulting with a doctor through a clinic costs an average of $600, compared to the $199 test offered by Modern Fertility.
Dr. Aldo Palmieri is the director of OB/GYN at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica.
“Patients will be led to conclusions that may be incorrect, because if the test results show all the levels are normal, it doesn’t mean they are fertile necessary,” said Palmieri.
When responding to critics, Vechery said they look more to the educational side that their tests offer.
“There are many things required for a successful pregnancy, and at Modern Fertility we are focused on fertility education,” said Vechery. “The only way you can tell whether you are fertile is to have a baby.”
Modern Fertility recommends that clients take its test results and consult their doctor.