Next month, I’ll give birth to my third baby. She’s growing fast—all thanks to modern breakthroughs in fertility treatment. Before my first son was born, I suffered a traumatic miscarriage. I had to undergo surgery, which removed about half of my reproductive system.
I was told it would be really hard to conceive on my own. Luckily for us I became pregnant without intervention and had my son, Merrick, in 2013.
Fast-forward a couple of years later, I needed fertility treatment to conceive our second child, Sage. Getting in to see a fertility specialist for your first appointment is usually a long process. It requires a “workup” of physical and lab tests before you meet your doctor so they can figure out what type of treatment you need. The wait is agonizing—you’re already in a place where precious time is passing. With demand for fertility care at an all-time high, it may be more than three months before your first appointment.
When you are finally in treatment, you need more testing and daily self-administered injections to achieve the “just-right” mix of hormone levels. Every day, my nurse would call me with instructions on how to adjust my dose. If I missed that call I was left to hope that a voicemail would be sufficient to make sure I didn’t mess up. The stakes are high—an improper dose might affect your chances to conceive during an already slim window of opportunity. And then you have to wait to start the process all over again, possibly many months later. The pressure to “get it right,” to not fail your family’s dearest goal, is immense.
I took a lot of notes and tried to track what I needed to do every moment of the treatment process, left to manage my life’s most important journey to date using nothing more than a piece of paper in a notebook.
There has to be a better way to do this not only in fertility care but in all care that needs extensive patient action in between traditional visits. Technology can ease this burden, for patients and providers alike. Technology can relay care instructions and real-time guidance, and enable patients to easily correspond with their care team and vice versa.
Thanks to fertility treatments we have our beautiful Sage, and will have our next baby soon. There’s so much more technology can do to aid patients and care teams as they manage the fertility process. I am so inspired by the results we’ve seen at Memora Health with our Fertility Care Program. Our platform has reduced the wait time to a patient’s first appointment by 50%, and seen a 2x reduction in fertility workup days—saving precious time in an already tense process. It is powerful to have a system intelligently guide patients through the complex workflows of fertility care, to make it easy to stay connected to their care and care team.
Recent estimates suggest that by the year 2100, 3% of the world’s population may be alive as a result of fertility treatments. That’s a lot of miracle-babies walking around. Let’s bring another miracle to the table—no more managing care on a piece of paper in a notebook. It’s time for technology to take the complex and make it more simple.