After discovering as a teenager that she had health issues that would threaten her ability to get pregnant, Deborah and Jake Anderson-Bialis booked an appointment at a fertility clinic to find out what their options for expanding their family were. The couple was prepared to face the challenges that come with infertility treatments. Deborah, it turns out, falls under the same category of women ages 15 to 44 who have an impaired ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to its full term.
They went to a clinic at the advice of a friend who was not a fertility expert and received shocking news that Deborah was approaching menopause at just 26 years old. This is not common for women her age. She was then put through a $20,000 egg-retrieval procedure involving painful hormone shots that showed no results. This is because the doctor told Deborah to continue using her IUD, which is not recommended when undergoing such a process.
After suffering a second, even worse experience at another clinic, which almost put her life at risk because she was told to take a dangerous drug, the couple had had enough.
“There was a lot of mismanaged medical advice,” Deborah says. “Errors at the clinical level kept happening, and I didn’t have a voice to be able to give feedback in a way that I thought would improve the system.”
Creating their own solution to a problem they were sure they were not alone in, the couple decided to create a website, Fertility IQ. The purpose of the site is to post crowd-sourced reviews of doctors and fertility clinics. This is so patients could share their experiences whether they were positive or negative. The site also shares the latest in fertility treatments and breakthroughs.
It has been one year since the site launched last February and the couple has seen great feedback from users. In the future, the couple plans to include information on other areas of fertility and provide reviews of sperm banks and surrogate agencies as well.