Can You Biohack Your Fertility?

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'There’s a whole wide range of ‘normal,’ and maybe I’m not optimal. And if I’m not optimal, what can I do to become optimal?'

Photo-Illustration: Stevie Remsberg/Getty Images There was a moment in time, however fleeting, when I thought I had my fertility figured out. Married at 31, I’d had my first child at 33, a feat that in New York City had somehow managed to become worthy of praise. “You’re having a baby before 35!” my OB/GYN beamed at me, as if I’d mastered some complex puzzle. “Good for you!”

It was somewhere in this dark night of the soul that I stumbled on Dr. Molly Maloof. “Welcome to the Future,” proclaimed her first blog post, on a website that prominently displayed a picture of a doe-eyed young woman in her physical prime, her silky brown hair tumbling over one shoulder in soft curls.

And when it comes to fertility, part of the problem is that, historically, only women who are “sick,” or have had trouble conceiving, have been studied. That blood test my doctor gave me, the results of which I clung to like an emotional life raft? Turns out that the numbers measuring ovarian reserve were reliable when it came to egg quantity, but not as reliable in assessing egg quality as I had been led to believe.

Maloof’s regimen, relayed to me in the breakneck clip of an entrepreneur, was far more intensive.

Flex, a potential competitor to period-panties company Thinx, is one of the start-ups that’s attempting to tackle those needs head-on. Meanwhile, there’s a start-up that’s trying to codify all the clinical data from women who have gone to fertility clinics to see which ones have the highest success rates, a start-up that advises other start-ups and tech firms about offering fertility benefits like egg-freezing , and a start-up that’s working on making personalized prenatal vitamins.

 

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