I had a coffee date today with Agnes Fischer, who blogged about her egg freezing process on Frozen Please. Agnes is awesome and I met her at Rachel Abrams' panel for her "Let's Get to Work" video screening.
Agnes is in her late 30s and is very open about the fact that she wants to have children of her own someday. Her blog has a mix of personal stories as well as a call-to-action of sorts for the way we talk about reproduction.
She came up with the brilliant concept of Birth Control 2.0. Birth Control 1.0 is contraception- what we all think of when we hear about birth control. 2.0 is about what happens when you do want to get pregnant. Most women won't know they have a fertility problem until they try and fail to conceive. Sex ed in school only ever talks about preventing teen pregnancy, and doesn't cover the biological aspects of getting pregnant- how hard it may be, the costs, the emotional tolls. That's all left as a surprise to women in their 20s and 30s. On the flip side- women in their 20s are being put on birth control without even knowing if it's necessary, since there are no fertility tests done prior.
Her point is that we're preventative in many areas of healthcare- dentistry, skincare, even in terms of women's health (yearly pap smears and breast exams)- so why doesn't this factor into fertility? There need to be better conversations with women to understand their bodies and their reproductive system to better equip them for making these hard decisions.
She also echoed the feelings I was having about the telemedicine aspect, which was good to have that confirmed. I asked her about going through the egg freezing/ infertility issue and whether being in a place that caters to those trying to conceive, those trying not to, and those who are already pregnant might cause any emotional issues. She said that she didn't feel that would be a problem- where she picked up her drugs for the egg freezing was a normal pharmacy that also sold birth control. Her thought about the issues of having a clinic/telemedicine was more about the fact that a woman going through this would carefully research her doctor, would have to go often, and is usually going to a place specifically for fertility issues.
I talked to her about the fertility drugs she took during the egg retrieval process. She mentioned there are only 2 pharmacies in Manhattan that stock them, they were extremely expensive, and you (obviously) can't return what wasn't used. She has over $2000 of drugs that she may never need that were left over.
Lots more to think about...