For National Infertility Awareness Week, we share our stories and what drives us to make and be the change.
What will be covered in this article
- Kindbody’s founding story
- Hear from our team and those who’ve navigated fertility and family-building care
- Sharing is caring virtual event
At Kindbody, we believe that everyone should have access to convenient and affordable fertility and family-building care. What unifies this mission amongst our employees is our own experiences within the fertility care system. Take our CEO and founder Gina Bartasi’s journey — she’s a mom of twin ten-year-old boys that she had through IVF. Gina believes “the growth in the fertility industry is a direct ramification of macro-economic trends as more and more women wait to get married and wait to have children.” A statistic that rings true today.
During her personal fertility journey, Gina saw how fragmented the current system is, the constant shuffle between different doctors offices, fertility clinics, and labs, and the disconnect between all these sources of care. “Not only was it fragmented, but it was extremely expensive,” Gina has said. After navigating her own fertility journey, She quickly realized the industry was in desperate need of a reboot.
With her own journey guiding her, Gina founded Fertility Authority, a leading suite of sites providing financing and support for fertility patients, and then, Progyny, the first end-to-end fertility benefits provider for Fortune 500 companies and beyond. But ultimately, through all her experiences, she realized that “in order to create real, tangible change, you must be in the direct provision of care, not just a middleman.” Hence, Kindbody’s genesis!
Similar to Gina’s journey, the growing team at Kindbody is peppered with women and men who have struggled with infertility and navigated their own fertility journeys. From our president Annbeth Eschbach to our clinic director in San Francisco, Emi Gaviola – we’ve created a community and culture that is open, transparent, and real about navigating fertility care – because we share the same stories and sentiments as our patients.
The fertility industry is growing and will only continue to do so; 18% of couples now struggle with infertility, more women are waiting to have children, more single women + members of the growing LGBTQ community are embarking on parenthood, all creating a greater need for a comprehensive fertility and family-building solution. A core component in creating this solution is increasing access to care. “Fertility treatment has historically only been accessible to the top 1%,” says Gina. And on top of that, the experience is inhumane, uncertain, frustrating, lonely, and depressing, making it a full-time job to navigate the system when going through infertility treatment.” At Kindbody, we are determined to pave the path for a better future and make the experience accessible for ALL people.
Kindbody President Annbeth Eschbach recently shared, “Kindbody’s mission touched me personally, as I’ve endured five years of fertility treatment. I speak from experience when I say the industry was in dire need of disruption.” Similarly, for Emi, the reality of infertility and the lack of emotional support was daunting. She shared with us, “the most difficult part of my journey was the emotional roller coaster of failed treatments and the constant fear of the unknown.”
Our Director of Enterprise Partnerships, Kara Cerrone, shares, “when I joined Kindbody, I felt empowered to educate myself around my future. Within a month, I found out my ovarian reserve, and follicle count (key biomarkers for fertility and heavy research) were extremely low for my age. I resisted action initially. As a 30-year-old, single woman, it was easy to put off thinking about my fertility and future family.” Kara ultimately took steps to freeze her eggs and shared with us that she was “inspired by the authenticity and vulnerability of my colleagues, paired with some empathetic nudges and lots of data.” As a result of her Kindbody team and community, she felt empowered to own her future by taking action. She shares, “in doing so, I accepted my journey more than ever before and got real with myself and others. The Kindbody community showed up for me in ways I could have never imagined. I learned every detail about the process.”
In addition to increasing access to care by broadening the fertility conversation and reducing the cost of treatment, Kindbody is working with employers to advocate for better coverage of fertility and family-building services. Our Chief Commercial Officer, Cindy Gentry, said, “As I advanced in my career, I realized that, as women, we get conflicting messages about who we should be and how to comport ourselves in business to ascend the corporate ladder. As I reflect back, I conclude that the best advice I have to give others is to “bring the strength of who you really are” to the workplace. The lessons learned from your family values, the illustrative education as a parent, and the value of self-reflection about our own strengths and weaknesses are the foundation of what makes us unique and, in turn, successful in the workplace.”
We believe wherever you are in your fertility and family-building journey, speaking up and speaking out is imperative. Our team embodies vulnerability. It’s by sharing our own stories and beliefs in a better future that have helped us find strength and the drive to continue to broaden the fertility conversation, and to advocate for more inclusive, empathetic care. If you’d like to hear more from our team and what you can do to get informed about your options and next steps – watch below:
All that you need to know about fertility, your fertility options, and more. Here you’ll find all of your fertility facts.
Tune into your personal wellness with Kindbody’s wellness catalog. Articles related to mental health, nutritional health, and more.
Breaking down the need-to-knows of insurance: what’s covered, what isn’t, and what you should know.
Thoughts and updates shared from the Kindbody founding team. This catalog contains notes from our founders.
Fertility & family-building experiences and stories told from the voice of individual community members.