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This newly funded start-up wants to help women assess their reproductive health much earlier in life

Women often do not think much about their reproductive health as long as they do not. Sometimes he starts with a well-intentioned gynecologist – or his impatient parents. Sometimes it 's because a couple is ready to try to conceive and this turns out to be more difficult than he imagined.

A San Francisco-based start-up called Modern Fertility wants to educate women about their reproductive health much earlier in life, allowing them to become more "proactive" rather than reactive, says co-founder and CEO Afton Vechery, who previously worked as a product manager with 23andMe Genetic Testing Company and previously with a health-focused private equity firm in Greenwich, Ct.

In both places, she learned a lot about the growing number of companies that give customers information about their own bodies. She also learned, especially at 23andMe, the importance of making this information affordable. Indeed, after spending $ 1,500 for tests conducted by a reproductive endocrinologist to get a better sense of his own reproductive health, Vechery set out to create similar tests that would not be a Rockefeller. To this end, a finger prick hormone test that Modern Fertility began selling today sells for $ 199

The big difference in price has to scale up, says Vechery. Because there are only 500 infertility clinics in the United States and about 6,000 endocrinologists – of which only 2,000 are focused on reproductive health – the cost of individual testing has been prohibitive. Modern Fertility meanwhile has "systems and technologies and integrations that support a large number of tests" conducted at the same time, she explains, explaining that with the volume comes the reduced price.

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Modern Fertility does not analyze the hormones of its clients itself. He uses Quest Diagnostics, the clinical laboratory company listed on the stock market for 50 years. ("We do not manufacture new instruments," says Vechery. "Our differentiation is in the access and information we provide to women.")

In fact, Modern Fertility also presents itself as an educational enterprise more than anything else. While informing consumers of nine hormonal levels related to ovarian reserves and reproductive health – which may be important, particularly with respect to egg freezing – it offers related content based on evaluated studies. by peers on menopause. women usually start to lose their fertility.

Clients also receive an optional one-on-one telephone consultation with a fertility nurse who will not give medical advice, but will be able to share more information about the hormones that are being followed and why.

For the price, this may be enough for many women. This was enough for investors. They just provided the startup with a $ 6 million financing led by Maveron and Union Square Ventures, which were joined by Sound Ventures, # Angel, SV Angel and other individual investors.

No doubt these funders see a future where an offer like that of Modern Fertility is a benefit offered by employers, of which more offer fertility benefits to keep their employees happy and in place. Already, Vechery says that a "handful of companies" are interested in superimposing Modern Fertility's tests into their other benefits for well-being.

Modern fertility also counts on regular clients, since from time to time, starting to give a woman a better idea of ​​the evolution of her "fertility curve".

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Meanwhile, she says, Modern Fertility – co-founded by Carly Leahy, a creative strategist who moved to California from Boston in 2014 after Google recruited her and who recently registered two years at Uber – will add to his current, team of eight people.

He will also try to "understand the best way to get this information" from potential customers, says Vechery.

"We want to meet women where there is and educate that this type of test is important."

Above photo: Co-Founders of Modern Fertility Afton Vechery, left, and Carly Leahy