I have always considered myself an advocate for my reproductive health. I’ve tracked my cycles on a mobile app since I was 17, I’ve never missed a pap smear and I am literally on a first-name basis with my OBGYN (Hey, Jaclyn!). For me, starting a family felt like it was well within my control, meticulously managed by my choice to continue or stop birth control, whenever I wanted. I thought I knew it all, but the toughest thing about standard reproductive healthcare is that it’s really hard to see the whole picture.

I had a non-hormonal IUD for nearly 11 years. Since I had it implanted, my cycles were consistent and predictable. There was never any indication that I was anything other than fertile. As it turns out, ignorance is bliss! 

In December of 2019, I started to notice that things were a little bit “off” with my cycle. I went to my OBGYN to make sure my IUD was still in place, and she assured me that everything was normal. Still, I was skeptical and decided not to take her words at face value.

I had recently seen an Instagram ad for Modern Fertility and decided, “why not?” For those of you who don’t know about the Modern Fertility test, it’s the same blood test you would take at the fertility clinic, only it can be taken at home for a fraction of the cost. Fertility hormone tests often aren’t covered by insurance and can cost $1,000+; however, the Modern Fertility test is just $159, and you get a super-easy at-home test to take, send back, and get results in under 10 days. The test gives you access to the information you need to plan ahead and navigate the world of fertility. And in my case, I am so grateful I ordered it when I did. 

The kit arrived within a week, and the instructions were clear: I was to take a blood sample on Day 3 of my period. The kit itself came with a very precise instruction manual, access to an online instructional video, multiple lancets, the number of test strips needed to complete my profile, as well as all of the supplies to do the blood test safely and hygienically from home. 

I am a bit of a coward, so after I did the ‘blood flow dance,’ I had my partner depress the lancet into my fingertip, and holy mother, it left quite the poke! At first, it took forever to get a single drop of blood onto the strip, and I had two strips I needed to complete. The instruction video recommends moving around and massaging your wrist, and this did nothing for me at first. That's when I realized they send multiple lancets for a reason.

Another poke, and finally the blood started to flow a little quicker. We ended up doing three pokes to get enough blood to complete the test strips. All in all, it took 10 minutes and one super sore finger before everything was ready to go back in the mail for testing. 

We waited about a week and a half before we got our report back from Modern Fertility. I got an email notifying me that it was ready, and I logged into the Modern Fertility portal. And that is where my journey into fertility treatments started. 

In addition to a wealth of information about my test results and what each of them signified, the report also very delicately informed me that three of my test results had come back abnormal. Modern Fertility wanted to retest the validity of the results, so they offered to send out a second kit at no charge. 

Also at this time, they began inviting me into the ‘Modern Community’ which is their private Slack channel for Modern Fertility users to interact with other women exploring their reproductive health. It was nice to know there was additional support available if I needed it. 

The second kit arrived quickly, and we were instructed to test again as soon as the kit arrived, no need to wait until my next period. Another blood flow dance and two more sore fingers later, and we got a second report that validated our previous results.

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My first thought after reading the email was, “This is not how our story was supposed to start.” I looked at the test results again. I checked the normal ranges...again. How is this possible? I’m 33 years old. I watch what I eat. I work out. I don’t do drugs. I sleep fine. I’m not stressed. I treat my body well. How is my AMH so low (0.1)  and my FSH so high (16.8)? 

At the time, I had no idea that these two data points would launch me down a fertility journey in hyper-speed. I had no idea that those two lines in an email meant I was almost out of eggs and out of time. I’m not married to my partner. My career is my priority. My dogs are my babies. I live in a loft with no walls and certainly no place for a nursery. I didn’t even know where to begin.

The value of the Modern Fertility test for me was the ability to walk into my next OBGYN appointment with the cold hard facts that something was wrong. This ultimately helped fast track me to a fertility clinic where I could get the help that I needed. It also showed me the importance of being my own advocate when it comes to my reproductive health. 

Obviously there is no one “crystal ball” test that will predict the future or tell you you’re infertile, but I would highly recommend looking into your hormone levels sooner rather than later, just in case. You may not be ready to start trying just yet, but when it comes to your fertility, knowledge is power.

Looking to get insight into your reproductive health? Click here to get $15 off the Modern Fertility Hormone Test (no discount code needed.)

Cerra Carpenter is a 33-year-old event planner from San Francisco, who never planned on infertility. In March of 2020, after taking a Modern Fertility home test, Cerra was diagnosed with infertility and later confirmed to have Premature Ovarian Failure (POF). Completely unprepared and totally obsessed with beating the odds, Cerra dove headfirst into IVF treatment and has completed two cycles as of October. In addition to being an active member in The Fertility Tribe Circle, Cerra is also an avid reader, traveler, knitter, swimmer, snowboarder, and moon worshipper with two active pups to keep her busy.