We’ve already pledged to #saythefword — speaking up about women’s reproductive health is uber-important (especially now!), so we’re talking fertility every chance we get. Thankfully, revolutionary (and woman-owned) companies like Celmatix are working hard to empower women so we can take complete control of our fertility choices, no matter where we are in our lives. Celmatix’s latest offering is MyFertility Compass: an online tool (think personality quiz, but make it science) that educates you about the personal factors that could influence your fertility, like your age, lifestyle, and genetic conditions. It’s quick and simple to use, and it packs a lot of important information into an easily digestible package. To learn more about how to use the tool — and why she believes it will help clear up some major misconceptions about infertility — we spoke with Celmatix founder Piraye Beim.

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Brit + Co: Can you tell us exactly how MyFertility Compass works?

Piraye Beim: MyFertility Compass is an online tool that educates women about the factors that could influence their fertility, provides data-driven estimates of their likelihoods of having a baby — with or without the use of common fertility treatments — and helps women better partner with their physicians on their family-building journeys.

B+C: Great! Sign us up. But — how do you use it?

PB: A woman enters enter her age, the amount of time she has been trying to conceive, lifestyle factors known to impact fertility, and any known reproductive health conditions. From that information, MyFertility Compass generates a personalized report powered by a combination of findings from published studies and Celmatix’s own proprietary predictive models, which have been developed using a structured real-world evidence dataset of nearly one million fertility treatment outcomes.

B+C:Why did you decide to launch this program specifically?

PB: In our research on how millennial women approach their reproductive health, we learned that there is a significant knowledge gap on some fundamentals. Our mission is to bring greater clarity to women who want to be more proactive about their fertility and health. To date, our products have only been accessible through fertility specialists. MyFertility Compass emerged from our thinking about how we could leverage our data-driven approach to impact more women earlier in their family-building journeys.

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B+C: Who do you think can benefit from using MyFertility Compass the most?

PB: We believe all women who are interested in learning more about their fertility can benefit from the insights included in a MyFertility Compass report, though women who have not yet consulted a fertility specialist will benefit the most. We designed the experience assuming that, for many women, this will be information they are exploring at the beginning of their journey of becoming better educated on the topic.

We know that many women do not speak to their physicians about fertility. It’s our hope that the information in a MyFertility Compass report will help women feel more confident about bringing up fertility at their next OB-GYN appointment or consulting a fertility specialist.

B+C: Speaking of speaking up, why do you think there are still so many myths surrounding women’s fertility?

PB: For one, so much about a woman’s body is still taboo. Fertility is no exception. Second, there are significant disparities in both government and private-sector funding for research related to reproductive health and fertility. For example, diabetes research receives one billion dollars of government funding each year, and endometriosis, a debilitating reproductive condition that affects half as many Americans as diabetes, only receives seven million. [B+C editor’s note: That’s less than one percent of the diabetes funding.] Sadly, endometriosis is one of the most well-funded female reproductive conditions. This is why we have invested so much in basic research — partnering in ambitious research collaborations with both doctors and companies like 23andMe — and building large datasets. We want to break open the black box and create better transparency for women. This revolution started happening in the cancer field almost two decades ago. We are excited to be bringing the precision medicine playbook to women’s health.

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B+C: Where do you think women are getting this misinformation?

PB: From recent surveys, we know that 83 percent of millennial women rely primarily on websites for information about their health. The internet is an amazing resource, but there is also a lot of noise to wade through. We want to make it easier for women to get personalized, actionable answers based on the best science. We also know that women are not talking about their journeys with friends, family, or their physicians.

For example, from our survey research we know that:

  • Only 36 percent of women talk to their OB-GYN about trying to get pregnant.
  • More than a quarter of women who are interested in freezing their eggs or those who have frozen their eggs have not mentioned it to anyone.
  • 21 percent of women who have miscarriages do not tell their partners.
  • 75 percent of women who are interested in fertility treatments or have undergone fertility treatments have not spoken to their friends about it.

This culture of silence around fertility means that women are missing out on the wisdom in their families and communities. Another big focus of ours is destigmatizing conversations around fertility and reproductive health.

B+C: How do you see MyFertility Compass, in particular, helping to get rid of these pervasive myths?

PB: Many women spend a decade or more trying not to get pregnant, so they assume that once they get off the pill they will conceive a viable pregnancy right away. What we know from the data is that for many women having a baby is not like flipping a switch. It is a journey. Women often worry prematurely and other times not soon enough.

Results from MyFertility Compass can bring clarity and peace of mind to women by helping them better understand their likelihood of getting pregnant, and, further, it can help women who have irregular periods and other symptoms of reproductive health conditions understand why it’s so important to talk to a doctor sooner.

Are you considering using My Fertility Compass? Tweet us @BritandCo to let us know what you think of the tool!

(Photos via Getty)