This story is from the 2019 Access FYI: FedEx Young Innovators List. Explore more from this issue
Afton Vechery and Carly Leahy pose for photo with city skyline in the background.

Building Fertility Connections and Community

This duo’s start-up helps women understand their reproduction options, whether they’re thinking about having children or not.

Afton Vechery and Carly Leahy pose for photo with city skyline in the background.

Modern Fertility, Afton Vechery and Carly Leahy’s start-up, centers on a seemingly simple idea: a $159 at-home fertility hormone test and finger prick. From there, a client sends her blood sample to a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certified lab, where it’s reviewed by two physicians who develop a custom fertility status report.

Modern Fertility’s at-home fertility hormone testModern Fertility’s at-home fertility hormone test

It’s easy to understand the value in the report’s information about clients’ fertility hormones. But some of the company’s most surprising value comes through its community support. Once a client receives her results, she has access to a number of resources, including a direct access to a fertility nurse and a discussion guide to help her speak clearly with her doctor about options. Clients can also engage in weekly community forums called “Egginars,” where they can learn from and support each other and join Modern Fertility’s online community, Modern Women.

Similar tests and levels of support are considerably more expensive — up to $1,500 in fertility clinics — so Vechery and Leahy hope Modern Fertility’s lower cost allows women to be proactive, rather than reactive, in making decisions. In many ways, their business itself is built on the very idea of proactivity — because while no fertility test can be the final answer for whether a woman can get pregnant, it’s Vechery and Leahy’s wish that Modern Fertility will provide the necessary data to inform what could be next.

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