The Future of Fertility (WWD)

The Future of Fertility (WWD)

CONSUMERS ARE TAKING fertility into their own hands.

As the fertility category continues to grow both in terms of product innovation and medical services, two key trends stand out: consumers are thinking long term, but they are also seeking more accessible options.

“It used to be that people would wait until they hadn’t quite settled down and had their families when they thought they would have. They were coming at a much later age to do egg freezing which wasn’t as fruitful in the end,” said Dr. Taraneh Nazem, a double board certified reproductive endocrinologist, infertility specialist and OB-GYN at RMA, a fertility clinic in New York. “Now, the age at which people are coming to do egg freezing has definitely come down.”

Although, younger consumers are thinking about fertility early on, the egg freezing procedure can be expensive, costing up to $15,000 according to CNY Fertility. Recently, though, new products and other medical treatments are supporting conception in a more accessible way.

“It’s [fertility] become, like all things female reproductive health, more commonplace,” Nazem said. “[Women are] preparing for it. They’re taking their fertility into their own hands and they’re not just leaving it up to chance anymore.”

“These start-up companies and solutions are allowing consumers to be able to be more in control of their own process by providing tools and solutions for them,” agreed Maria Toler Velissaris, founding partner at SteelSky Ventures, a fund that invests in women’s health care businesses. “They’re finding ways to be able to connect but have a process that works with their financial situation.”

Consumers are aiming to support their fertility journeys early through programs, like Chiyo’s Hormone Balance and Fertility Program, and with products like Lola’s Fertility Friendly Lubricant, $20, which "mimics the pH of sperm and fertile fluids, so that the longevity of the sperm is optimized," said Lola chief executive officer Amy Fisher.

Chiyo, founded by Jennifer Jolorte Doro and Irene Liu, offers a six-week meal plan that employs ingredients meant to aid in conception, such as Brazil nuts and Moringa Mylk.

After launching the business, which was initially focused on postpartum meal plans, “people were already asking for the fertility program,” Liu said. “Probably 20 percent of the inquiries were, ‘Can you help me in the fertility period?’”

“What you see from people who have a lot of intel and resources is that they are working with a nutritionist one-on-one. They might have a chef that comes to make meals for them, and so how do we democratize that access,” Liu said of Chiyo’s overall vision and mission.

As it was clear to the duo that consumers are seeking additional guidance, they implemented weekly health check-ins and are also planning to partner with fertility clinics to offer their services there.

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