Fertility testing is an area of medicine that isn’t really covered by insuranceand hasn’t yet seen much innovation from the tech world.
Modern Fertility is trying to change that. The startup wants to be the first to revamp the experience of fertility testing and revolutionize how women think about their own fertility in the years before they’re ready to have children.
The key is Modern Fertility’s $149 at-home testing kit. Like the lab tests ordered at doctor’s offices, the kit measures up to 10 key fertility hormones. Customers do a finger prick and send four drops of blood into accredited labs, where the results are reviewed by physicians.
Users can then view their results online with explanations about what the different levels of each hormone and numerical fertility score actually mean.
“We believe information is the first step,” said cofounder Afton Vechery. “Women everywhere should know this information.”
Vechery, a former product manager at 23andMe with experience in health tech and private equity, and Carly Leahy, who developed health products like flu shot delivery at Uber, co-founded Modern Fertility in an effort to address what they see as a serious shortage and lack of options in fertility testing resources.
“Women everywhere should know this information.”
“There are only 2,000 reproductive endocrinologists in the United States and each one can only handle so much demand,” Vechery said. “We’re able to deliver more value than a single one doctor ordering these.”
At-home medical testing has emerged in the past few years as a hot area of investment, with startups selling a wide variety of kits that offer everything from blood testing to intestinal health information.
There are already a few other companies addressing fertility: Future Family and Everlywell both offer fertility tests. Celmatix focuses on using data and DNA to give fertility insights. Other startups mostly focus on devices like wearables and apps to help track fertility, not tools to test it. Modern Fertility’s test comes in at the lowest price point.
A Modern Fertility customer could pay $149 to order an at-home fertility test that would let her know her fertility levels. That’s compared to the traditional experience of going to a lab for tests and paying somewhere around $1,500 out of pocket.
These tests are available for pre-order right now in advance of a launch planned for the end of the year. But that $149 price could go up once the startup is up and running. Users don’t submit their insurance information, since most insurance plans don’t cover fertility testing.
With a much more low-cost, accessible way to test fertility, women could get a sense of their own hormone levels years before they’re ready to have childreninstead of hearing unexpected news when they’re finally ready to start trying. Women could rely on these tests as a regular component of their healthcare and check fertility levels once a year, as hormone levels continue to change.
For women who are trying to have children, the test could serve as a first step before seeing a specialist.
The Y Combinator startup just raised $1 million in a funding round led by First Round Capital. With that first round of funding, Vechery and Leahy plan to build out their team. The key next step is hiring a chief medical officer.
Modern Fertility isn’t trying to change the science of these fertility testsonly the way they’re taken. By reaching an entirely new population of customerswomen who aren’t actively trying to get pregnantthe startup says it can do this all at scale. That’s why it can offer a $1,350 discount.
As startups working on women’s health, menstrual health and other oft-ignored kinds of tech get more attention from investors in Silicon Valley, Modern Fertility is one that could really change an outdated industry.