Why I’m Testing My Fertility Now
If you read my blog or listen to the Bossed Up podcast on the regular, you probably know by now that #BradtheBoo and I would love to be parents someday. But just because that someday isn’t here yet doesn’t mean I can’t be proactive about my health.
I exercise regularly, try to fuel my body with the right nutrients, and truly believe that self-care includes not-so-glamourous maintenance like getting regular check-ups and going to the dentist. But when it comes to our reproductive health in this country – both in terms of birth control and fertility treatments, there’s a lot of room for improvement.
The way we handle fertility is whack
The typical course of care for dealing with issues relating to conception and fertility is extremely reactive. Most of the time heterosexual women are told to start trying to get pregnant when they’re ready to get pregnant, and if any issues arise, they’ll start to deal with them after a year or so if not having any luck.
Seriously? This is 2019, we can put a man on the moon and get personalized DNA results, but fertility advice still boils down to blind generalizations?
I’m a big believer in maintaining a sense of agency over your own life – but how can you do that when fertility isn’t treated until it becomes a problem?
Thankfully, we can all take a more proactive approach now that Modern Fertility has completely disrupted this industry. They recently gifted me my own at-home fertility kit to try out for myself.
At-home testing makes it easy
Modern Fertility is a woman-founded startup that puts the power of your fertility in your own hands. This morning, I completed my own at-home kit that walks you through the process of collecting a small blood sample through a finger prick on your own.
I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty squeamish at first when it came to pricking my own finger, but their kit made it easy to follow each step, and paired perfectly with an online tutorial video. Plus, I didn’t have to go to the doctor, pay a copay, and shell out upwards of $1,500 for a lab test that most insurance doesn’t cover.
I don’t know if it was the high altitude and dry climate here in Denver or if I have super-clotting blood, but it took multiple finger pricks for me to collect enough blood droplets the test needed and after an hour or so of air-drying, I shipped my sample off in the mail.
I’m eagerly awaiting the results, which measure my body’s hormones – even though I’m on The Pill – and can tell me if I have more or less eggs than average, among other things. Whatever the results may be, it feels good to make some forward movement in family planning, as someone who doesn’t want kids right away. Because I don’t want to delay too long if it’s going to take us a while to get pregnant.
I want to get a jump on family planning
I believe that planned parenthood should be a right, not a privilege for all women. And that starts, of course, with affordable, accessible birth control options (thank you, Planned Parenthood!) all the way through deciding whether or not you even want to become a parent. News flash: parenting is not for everyone, and no woman should ever be pressured into become a mother.
But as someone who has always wanted to become a parent, I want to be able to make the most informed choices I can about when to go off birth control and start trying.
The more I know about my body, the better decisions I can make
I’m all about empowering women to make the right choices for your own life and career. Because health issues related to conception have a major impact. I want all of us to have the personalized, proactive approach to making some of the biggest choices of our lives:
- Whether you’ll want to freeze your own eggs for use later on
- Whether you’ll want to move up your timeline and start trying earlier
- Or whether you’ll need to start looking into other options like surrogacy, donor eggs, and IVF.
I don’t want to wait until things aren’t working to get all the information I can about my own body’s time horizon. Not knowing is not powerful.
Are you being proactive about family planning?
I’d love to hear how other women in the Bossed Up community are navigating family planning – as this is really my first step in learning more about my own fertility. Leave a comment below or tag me at @BossedUpOrg and @EmilieAries on social media – I’d love to hear about your experiences!