Announcing our Partnership with Gays with Kids
At Cofertility, we believe in the equal right to parent and proudly serve individuals and couples of all backgrounds, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or relationship status.
We are particularly committed to supporting LGBTQ+ people’s path to parenthood and are excited to announce our recent partnership as a Gays with Kids (GWK) official Family Building Partner.
Why Gays with Kids
Founded in 2014, GWK is the world’s largest and only resource, website, and social network dedicated exclusively to serving the needs of gay, bi, and trans dads and dads-to-be. GWK’s mission is to inspire, inform and guide gay, bi, and trans men throughout their journey of family building. They support hopeful and current dads to live their best authentic lives while navigating fatherhood.
Through the Gays with Kids Academy, webinars, and other in-person events, GWK educates gay and queer men about their options for becoming dads, and then guides them along each step of their journey.
We understand that while the path to parenthood isn’t necessarily the same for everyone, the desire to have a family can be. Egg donation is an essential part of LGBTQ+ family planning and our Family by Co platform makes egg donation more accessible, human and community driven.
With this partnership, Cofertility joins an exclusive network of vetted family-building partners representing the best-of-the-best in surrogacy and IVF service providers.
Given our own commitment to education, we’re excited to be featured in the Gays with Kids Academy “Surrogacy and IVF Course.” We’re also co-hosting a webinar focused on the benefits of disclosure, a topic that we know is top of mind for many hopeful dads. We’re happy to send the recording and if you’re a hopeful dad interested in learning more about GWK, we’re happy to make the connection.
Cofertility is a human-first fertility ecosystem rewriting the egg freezing and egg donation experience. Our Family by Co platform serves as a more transparent, ethical egg donor matching platform. We are obsessed with improving the family-building journey — today or in the future — and are in an endless pursuit to make these experiences more positive.
Create a free account today!
Our Partnership with TMRW: Why Proper Frozen Egg Storage Matters
At Cofertility, our mission is to make egg freezing and third-party reproduction more accessible, transparent, and human-centered. And while it’s too often overlooked, we firmly believe that this mission must extend to frozen egg and embryo storage.
We’re proud to partner with TMRW Life Sciences, a fertility technology company automating the IVF lab, with the world's first automated solution for storing and managing frozen eggs and embryos.
A new standard in frozen egg storage
To date, frozen eggs and embryos have been stored in liquid nitrogen tanks. These tanks often sit in the back of a supply closet or in a basement storage facility and are manually maintained by lab staff. Despite everyone’s best intentions and without any alternative storage options, manual processes can leave the door open to errors like specimen mix-ups or accidental thawing.
What’s more, patients rarely have visibility into what storage entails where frozen specimens are physically stored after their retrieval. You have the power to ask.
TMRW's ground-breaking automated technology platform digitally identifies, tracks, monitors and stores patients' frozen eggs and embryos with safety, accuracy, efficiency and transparency. TMRW's platform sets a new standard of care by reducing potential points of failure by 94% compared with manual systems.
So what is TMRW doing differently?
- Digital labeling - instead of handwritten labels, TMRW uses digital labeling and RFID tracking. With this tracking system, clinics always know exactly where your eggs and embryos are and can easily find them when you’re ready to use them.
- Automated management - instead of relying on manual processes, TMRW has a new fully-automated digital storage system that helps eliminate 94% of potential failure points
- Real-time inventory - TMRW has gone the extra mile by creating a 24/7 cloud-based monitoring system with real-time inventory updates to provide new levels of safety, transparency, and peace of mind.
- Active monitoring - TMRW provides 24/7 digital monitoring (thousands of daily checks!) and expert human oversight to identify potential issues before they become a problem.
Benefits to Cofertility members
As part of our partnership, TMRW offers all Cofertility members access to preferred rates at their biorepository facility. After the journey you’ve been through — whether egg freezing or embryo creation — we think you deserve peace of mind at a more reasonable cost.
For Freeze by Co members:
Both our Split and Keep members can take advantage of TMRW’s next generation frozen egg storage.
As part of our Split program, the intended parents who you match with will sponsor 10 years of storage through TMRW. If you’re in the Split program, you don’t need to do anything in order to take advantage of this partnership. In the days leading up to your retrieval, we’ll talk you through the details and make sure the clinic has everything they need to facilitate the shipment.
If, after those ten years, you want to re-up your storage you’re welcome to do so and will start to pay out of pocket at that point. If at any point you are ready to move your eggs out of storage, they can be shipped to any clinic. While prices can vary, we expect shipping costs to range between $600 - $1,000. And of course, if you have questions in the meantime, please send them our way.
As part of the Keep program, you’ll have access to 5- and 10-year storage plans through TMRW, though of course you may take your eggs out of storage within those timeframes.
We often say that the best time to freeze your eggs is when you are least likely to afford it. On top of cycle fees, many are surprised to learn how expensive egg storage can be. In some cases, storage can run upwards of $1,000 a year. We think you deserve a better option and we’re excited to get that to you through our TMRW partnership.
If you’re a Keep member, you can leverage this benefit regardless of where your egg freezing cycle takes place. If you’re interested in working with TMRW or want to learn more before you get started on your journey, just send us an email. We can share our preferred rates and make sure you get tapped into that benefit as you’re planning for your egg freezing cycle.
For Family by Co members:
When you match with a Cofertility donor, you’re enabling her to freeze her eggs and have them stored with TMRW for up to 10 years. But beyond that, you’ll also get access to TMRW’s incredible embryo storage options at their preferred partner discounted rates.
We understand how much you’ve put into your family building journey and want you to feel confident that your most precious embryos are safely stored and managed. If you’re weighing the benefits of working with TMRW, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have — you can email us at email@example.com.
Meet our Medical Advisors: Dr. Samuel Pang
Dr. Samuel Pang is a board certified OBGYN and subspecialty board certified reproductive endocrinologist at Boston IVF. He is the medical director of the Third Party Reproduction Team at Boston IVF – The Lexington Center. He attended the University of British Columbia and completed his internship and residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Toronto. He completed his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology at UCLA.
Dr. Pang joined IVF America Boston (later Reproductive Science Center of New England) in 1993 and was appointed Medical Director in 2007. He has been the director of the Third Party Reproduction program since 1997, serving patients who utilize IVF with donor eggs and/or gestational surrogacy to have children. In October 2014 he joined Boston IVF following a merger with RSCNE.
Dr. Pang is a pioneer in providing reproductive care to LGBTQ+ patients. In 1998, he was among the earliest physicians applying ART to gay men who sought parenthood via donor eggs and gestational surrogacy. In 2007, he began providing IVF services to lesbian couples without infertility, coining the term “reciprocal IVF” for one person providing oocytes and the other gestating. In 2012, he began treating transgender men for fertility preservation and reciprocal IVF, and transgender men who choose to gestate themselves. He was recently selected by ASRM for their Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award in 2022.
Meet our Medical Advisors: Dr. Saira Jhutty
Dr. Saira Jhutty is a licensed clinical and industrial organizational psychologist in private practice specializing in fertility. She obtained her PhD from California School of Professional Practice. She has spent the last 11 years focusing on assisting people build their families using third-party reproduction. Her expertise lies in the evaluation of potential surrogates and egg donors and meeting with intended parents to discuss their decision to use alternative methods to build their family.
Dr. Jhutty is a member of the Mental Health Professionals group for ASRM and sat on the committee to help revise surrogacy guidelines.
Q&A with Dr. Jhutty
How would you describe yourself as a psychologist?
I like to spend time getting to know my clients. I want to know what their everyday life looks like and how they see themselves in the future. My goal is to help them meet that future person. I am action oriented and like to focus on solutions to get people moving toward their goals.
Where do you think the fertility industry has the most room to grow?
I think we need more specialized care for the under-served such as same sex couples and individuals and women over 40.
What do you do outside of work?
I love doing nothing with my husband, son, and dog and hanging out with my nieces and nephews. I am also addicted to word puzzles, listening to self-help podcasts, and telling popsicle stick jokes.
Why are you working with Cofertility?
The minute I met the team, I knew I wanted to be a part of Cofertility. It wasn't about anything but giving women options and making them feel empowered to take control of their own fertility health. I loved that there was so much action behind the words. I respect that Covertility educates women about their bodies and I love the transparency behind their work.
Meet our Medical Advisors: Dr. Meera Shah
Meera Shah, MD, FACOG, is a double board certified OBGYN and reproductive endocrinology and fertility specialist at NOVA IVF in Mountain View, California. She received her Bachelor's degree at UC-Berkeley and completed a post-baccalaureate research fellowship at the National Institute of Health Academy program. She attended Stanford Medical School and completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco. She rounded out her training with a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Stanford University. She is an active member of the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society, American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and Bay Area Reproductive Society.
Dr. Shah has authored numerous research articles on topics ranging from fertility preservation, pregnancy loss, reproductive genetics, and ethnic differences in IVF outcomes. Her work has been featured in Fertility and Sterility, Fertility IQ, and Natalist. Her medical practice incorporates the highest level of evidence based medicine and the most cutting edge technologies to optimize outcomes for her patients.
When Dr. Shah isn’t busy working with her patients at NOVA IVF, she enjoys playing pretty much any sport, learning new piano pieces on YouTube, and spending quality time with her husband and three boys.
You can find her on Instagram providing fertility related advice and education.
Q&A with Dr. Shah:
What’s the best piece of advice you’;ve ever been given as a doctor?
Be kind to yourself and understand your own limitations. As a fertility doctor, I want every patient to have a smooth, linear journey to a healthy live birth. I am deeply empathetic to the desperation couples face in their desire to have or grow their family – and when treatment failure is encountered (which is common), I often internalize this as a personal failure. Over the years, I have learned to accept my own limitations – and accept the powerful forces of nature that even with our best efforts, cannot be overcome. I am kinder to myself and have shifted my mindset to finding contentment in being the best provider of holistic care for every single patient – and regardless of outcome – knowing I have provided every patient the best chance for success and supporting them wholeheartedly on their IVF journey from start to finish.
What kind of change do you hope to make in the industry?
Every patient deserves to have access to the best resources and to be educated on their options to make informed decisions for themselves. I use my social media platform to educate the community on fertility issues and destigmatize the topic of infertility and pregnancy loss. As a woman who could have benefitted from fertility preservation myself, I am particularly passionate about increasing awareness around egg freezing for young women who choose to delay childbearing for personal or professional reasons. My hope is to make egg freezing accessible and affordable for all women who want to have a family in the future. You can find me on Instagram at @dr_meerashah.
What’s one piece of advice you would give intended parents?
To all intended parents – Your journey has been long and difficult and hope is around the corner. Remember to focus on your mental and physical health and seek the resources (ie. Therapy, personal fitness training) you need to make your own well-being a top priority. Your perseverance and resilience in this process will undoubtedly make you incredible parents.
What do you do outside of work?
I have a very busy life outside work centered around my husband and three young children. I am constantly running between sports practices, music lessons, and weekend tournaments – and I strive to be present as a mother and engage with my three boys on their level. I also prioritize carving out time for my own personal growth – This year I ran my first half marathon, joined a book club, and rekindled my love for playing for piano.
The concept Cofertility is introducing to our field is revolutionary and desperately needed. I love the idea of making fertility preservation accessible and affordable, and in tandem transforming the egg donor process into a compassionate, transparent, easy to navigate process for intended parents.
Why are you working with Cofertility?
When I first met the leadership team at Cofertility, I was blown away by their brilliance, kindness, and passion for making change. The concept Cofertility is introducing to our field is revolutionary and desperately needed. I love the idea of making fertility preservation accessible and affordable, and in tandem transforming the egg donor process into a compassionate, transparent, easy to navigate process for intended parents. We have already seen so much interest in adopting the Cofertility model into existing IVF practices and I cannot wait to see where
Meet our Medical Advisors: Dr. Mare Mbaye
Dr. Mare Mbaye is a top OBGYN based in New York City. She has worked in the private practice setting caring for pregnant and non-pregnant people with a variety of medical concerns. Dr. Mbaye also boasts several years of experience as a medical advisor, digital health startup consultant, and content creator. She is on a mission to bring empathetic, holistic, and affirming reproductive healthcare to all, with a particular focus on historically marginalized groups.
You can follow Dr. Mare on Instagram.
Q&A with Dr. Mbaye:
When did you know you wanted to go into your field?
As cliche as it sounds, I actually knew at a young age that I wanted to be some sort of doctor. It did take me until my third year in med school to choose a specialty though. All I knew for sure going in was that I loved working with my hands, so I knew I wanted to do something surgical. I was honestly surprised to finish out that year wanting to be an OBGYN since it hadn't even been on my radar until I was on the rotation. As it turned out, I really enjoyed the variety of things I could pursue within the field both in terms of my career goals and everyday practice. I also really loved taking care of women and birthing people.
What has been your proudest career moment?
This is such a hard question to answer since the path to being a doctor has so many milestones, all of which are important and all of which I'm proud to have reached. If I had to choose one, I would say it was the first time I took charge– really took charge– of a patient completely on my own in my last year of residency. Typically, even as a chief, there is an attending who you run all your plans by, which means that the final decision is never on a resident. However, that particular night was one of those crazy nights where L&D was packed, our other patients on the floor were keeping my mid-level busy, and the ER had called with a surgical case that my attending was taking care of. So of course while I'm alone on the L&D, another patient comes in who I quickly realized was an emergent surgical case. And as I was realizing this, I was honestly terrified but it was one of those moments of forced growth where I had to trust my knowledge, my skills, and my gut and get things moving while keeping everyone calm. Thankfully, everything turned out fine and my attending made it in time to reassure me that I'd made the right choice. Obviously, it was a memorable night because of the actual medical drama, but also because my confidence was really bolstered by that experience and I had to tap into that confidence many, many times in my first year of practicing by myself after residency.
On the challenging days, what keeps you going?
Medicine demands a lot from us. As a resident, I had several weeks where I was sleeping a total of 25 hours or less in a week. As an attending, I've had many 24 hour call shifts where I didn't sleep at all and barely ate or used the bathroom, and countless clinic days where I was ground to the bone by the end of the day. When people are your work, and your work takes over your life, it can make it hard to separate the system that is creating such an unhealthy environment from the people who have no choice but to use it. So whenever I felt myself slipping into resentment and burn out, I had to take a deep breath and remind myself that behind each chart is usually a person who could be anything from confused and anxious to literally having a tragic day.
Why are you working with Cofertility?
Equity in healthcare access is one of the fundamental problems with the US system. I love that Cofertility is trying to fix that for egg freezing, especially because this is a service that provides people with so much more freedom and options when it comes to how they build their families. Many people still don't really know about or understand egg freezing. Even amongst those that do, cost is a huge barrier. The fact that Co keeps that in mind by offering the Split program is amazing and I will continue to support work like this that thinks outside the conventional bounds of traditional healthcare in the US.
The 2021 Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) Reports are Here: Here's What the Data Says
The Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) is the largest network of fertility professionals and clinics practicing assisted reproductive technology (ART) in the United States. They are widely recognized as the expert authority in data for success rates and trends in ART, including IVF, egg freezing, and egg donation.
SART has officially released its annual report, which includes the data for 2021 cycles, providing valuable insights into the state of fertility treatments in the United States. The report reveals trends in the number of cycles, patient demographics, and success rates. Not sure where to start? We’ve pulled some of our favorite highlights below:
The average age of ART patients continues to increase
The latest SART data shows that the average age of women receiving fertility treatment in 2021 was 36.4 years old, which is slightly older than the previous year's average of 36.2 years. This trend of women delaying starting a family until later in life has been consistent in recent years, with the median age for all first time births reaching 30 for the first time ever.
The use of donor eggs is increasing, and success rates remain strong
In 2020, 3,749 cycles were started with donor egg recipients, and in 2021 that number rose by nearly 20% to 4,471. Additionally, success rates for cycles using donor eggs continue to be higher than those using a patient’s own eggs. Across all age groups in 2021, the average live birth rate for patients using donor eggs was nearly double the rate for those across all age groups using their own eggs.
Egg freezing is also on the rise
In 2021, there were a total of 24,560 egg freezing (referred to in the data as “oocyte banking for fertility preservation”) cycles performed by SART-member clinics, which is a 46% increase from the previous year's 16,786 cycles, showing that more and more women are being proactive about their fertility. SART defines oocyte banking for fertility preservation as “having no intention to thaw and inseminate for at least 12 months after oocyte cryopreservation”.
Overall, the 2021 SART data reveals that fertility treatments in the United States are continuing to grow in popularity, from those who are looking to be proactive about their fertility earlier on, to those who are ready to grow their families now but need assistance doing so. Additionally, we see yet again that live birth rates for patients using donor eggs are high, making egg donation a viable option for those struggling to conceive with their own eggs.
At Cofertility, we provide more accessible and affordable family-building options for all. With our Freeze by Co Split program, women can freeze their eggs entirely for free when they give half of the eggs retrieved to a family that can’t conceive. Our Family by Co platform serves as a more ethical, human-first egg donor matching platform. To learn more about our programs, click the links below.
Announcing our SEEDS Membership
Ethics is at the heart of everything we do. We’ve set out to build something special – centering on families, honoring donors, and recognizing the needs and rights of the humans we are helping create.
We’re not alone in trying to raise the bar for our industry. The Society for Ethics and Egg Donation (SEEDS) is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to define and promote ethical behavior by all parties involved in third party reproduction. And today we are proud to announce that Cofertility has been accepted as a member of SEEDS.
SEEDS was founded by a group of egg donation and surrogacy agencies to give organizations a voice in defining ethical standards for egg donation and surrogacy.
We are thrilled to be official members, though we actually built our program with the SEEDS Standards as our guideposts. We are committed to building a more ethical egg donation platform and are excited to be part of an organization that reflects those same ideas. In addition to our agreement to abide by SEEDS standards, we look forward to getting involved with other initiatives ranging from monthly brown bag lunches to the SEEDS conference.
We’re glad to be part of the SEEDS ecosystem. Thank you to all of the SEEDS volunteers who have made the organization what it is today - we appreciate you and are excited to get to know you!
Introducing Pomi Tefera, Head of Operations & Strategy
As we continue to work towards our mission of improving the family-building process for all (today or in the future), we’re excited to grow our team to help us get there. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Pomi Tefera has joined the Cofertility team as Head of Operations & Strategy.
Joining us from Token Transit, where she served as the Director of Operations, Pomi is deeply curious about technology that transforms how people manage their basic needs in the physical world. At Token Transit, Pomi was responsible for growth & partnerships – she helped grow the mobile ticketing platform to reach riders served by 170+ transit agencies, scaled transit pass distribution programs, and launched API integration partnerships.
As part of Cofertility’s Founding Team, Pomi will lead the charge on building out, scaling, and managing company product and clinical operations, partnerships, and strategic finance functions. She’ll obsess over member needs on a daily basis, and oversee the programmatic components of their journey on our platform. Pomi is a firm believer that centering people — what they hope to accomplish and how they navigate their needs — is essential to mobilizing teams and driving business impact.
Prior to Token Transit, Pomi’s career has spanned finance, strategy and product operations at General Electric and Uber. I had the pleasure of working directly with Pomi during her time on Uber’s Strategic Finance team. Pomi was a critical partner in developing the initial business case for Uber Health and I had the best time working with her on it. Our pitch to leadership for Uber Health was successful, and the rest is history. I’m forever thankful for her partnership then and am so thrilled to have it again now.
When we asked Pomi about her first week with Cofertility, she told us, “I’m so grateful for this opportunity to change the world of family planning and ready to empower women to own their fertility timelines.”
We can’t wait to do this together. Welcome to the team, Pomi!
Meet our Founding Medical Advisory Board
At Cofertility, our goal is to reshape fertility preservation and third-party reproduction so it’s more accessible, human, and community-driven. We know that providers are at the heart of fertility care, which is why we’re proud to partner with some of the most beloved experts in our space.
From Day 1, our Medical Advisory Board has helped shape our offerings, from program feedback to educational content. We are proud to announce the four providers who serve as our Founding Medical Advisory Board:
- Saira Jhutty, PhD is a licensed clinical and industrial organizational psychologist in private practice specializing in fertility. She obtained her PhD from California School of Professional Practice. She has spent the last 11 years focusing on assisting people build their families using third-party reproduction. Her expertise lies in the evaluation of potential surrogates and egg donors and meeting with intended parents to discuss their decision to use alternative methods to build their family. Dr. Jhutty is a member of the Mental Health Professionals group for ASRM and sat on the committee to help revise surrogacy guidelines.
- Mare Mbaye, MD is a top OBGYN based in New York City. She has worked in the private practice setting caring for pregnant and non-pregnant people with a variety of medical concerns. Dr. Mbaye also boasts several years of experience as a medical advisor, digital health startup consultant, and content creator. She is on a mission to bring empathetic, holistic, and affirming reproductive healthcare to all, with a particular focus on historically marginalized groups. She received her MD from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and her BS from Yale University.
- Samuel Pang, MD is a board certified OBGYN and subspecialty board certified reproductive endocrinologist at Boston IVF. He is the medical director of the Third Party Reproduction Team at Boston IVF – The Lexington Center. He attended the University of British Columbia and completed his internship and residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Toronto. He completed his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology at UCLA. Dr. Pang joined IVF America Boston (later Reproductive Science Center of New England) in 1993 and was appointed Medical Director in 2007. He has been the director of the Third Party Reproduction program since 1997, serving patients who utilize IVF with donor eggs and/or gestational surrogacy to have children. In October 2014 he joined Boston IVF following a merger with RSCNE. Dr. Pang is a pioneer in providing reproductive care to LGBTQ+ patients. In 1998, he was among the earliest physicians applying ART to gay men who sought parenthood via donor eggs and gestational surrogacy. In 2007, he began providing IVF services to lesbian couples without infertility, coining the term “reciprocal IVF” for one person providing oocytes and the other gestating. In 2012, he began treating transgender men for fertility preservation and reciprocal IVF, and transgender men who choose to gestate themselves. He was recently selected by ASRM for their Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award in 2022.
- Meera Shah, MD, FACOG, is a double board certified OBGYN and reproductive endocrinology and fertility specialist at NOVA IVF in Mountain View, California. She received her Bachelor's degree at UC-Berkeley and completed a post-baccalaureate research fellowship at the National Institute of Health Academy program. She attended Stanford Medical School and completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco. She rounded out her training with a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Stanford University. She is an active member of the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society, American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and Bay Area Reproductive Society. Dr. Shah has authored numerous research articles on topics ranging from fertility preservation, pregnancy loss, reproductive genetics, and ethnic differences in IVF outcomes. Her work has been featured in Fertility and Sterility, Fertility IQ, and Natalist. Her medical practice incorporates the highest level of evidence based medicine and the most cutting edge technologies to optimize outcomes for her patients.
We’re fortunate to partner with these experts to help create reproductive health services you can trust.
Introducing Cofertility: a new, human-centered fertility ecosystem
Our approach to egg-donation and egg-freezing, and $5M seed in funding from Initialized Capital and Offline Ventures
Today, we’re excited to announce Cofertility, a new kind of human-centered fertility ecosystem, in conjunction with our $5 million round of seed funding. At Cofertility, we’re reshaping fertility preservation and third-party reproduction so it’s more accessible, human, and community-driven, recognizing that the way we build families is more dynamic than ever and that everyone deserves a great experience. We’re now debuting what we’ve been building for over a year: a destigmatized, scalable approach to egg donation, which reshapes the cost structure of egg-freezing. Our platform matches women who want to freeze their eggs with families who could not otherwise conceive, and by donating half of their frozen eggs, women can access egg-freezing for *free*.
Our platform matches women who want to freeze their eggs with families who could not otherwise conceive, and by donating half of their frozen eggs, women can access egg-freezing for *free.*
When we zoom out and look at the fertility industry, there have been incredible strides over the last decade – including egg freezing no longer being considered “experimental” and a greater public conversation about fertility – but unfortunately, this progress pales in comparison to the growth of the problem. There’s still a fundamental lack of resources for proactively taking charge of reproductive health, exclusionary costs for fertility treatments, a dearth of support for LGBTQ+ couples, antiquated egg donation and surrogacy programs, and care pathways that are riddled with stigma, coercion, and isolation. About one in six couples struggle to conceive, and many feel failed by the infertility process. The cost of egg freezing averages $12,000 - $20,000 (depending on the clinic and medication), making building a family a socioeconomic issue as much as it is a highly personal one. In any direction, there’s friction, sacrifice, and unmet needs.
As the co-founders of Cofertility, we know this and we’ve lived this. The three of us have all had complicated fertility journeys – we’ve been told by doctors that we’d never have biological children, we’ve gone through years of infertility treatments, we’ve felt defeated trying to find an egg donor, we’ve been devastated by miscarriages, and we’ve felt so alone along the way.
We’ve also dedicated our careers to advancing the healthcare system – from helping create the Uber Health division at Uber to improve access to care (Lauren), leading fertility education platforms with marketing experience at Gen-Z household-name brands (Arielle), to founding some of the most defining digital and women’s health companies of the past decade – Natalist and Rock Health (Halle). Everything we’ve done —personally and professionally —has brought us to founding this company today.
Everything we’ve done —personally and professionally —has brought us to founding this company today.
It’s abundantly clear that we deserve a new fertility ecosystem – one that’s grounded in accessibility, community, and true agency over our reproductive futures. We’re building this from a corner of the industry that’s seen little to no change for decades, but one that’s a linchpin for unlocking greater change across several key areas of fertility care: egg donation.
Ask anyone who’s needed egg donation and they’ll likely tell you it’s a demoralizing process. Something as personal as the genetic make-up of your future child is reduced to scrolling through databases of women identified by numbers, who you never get to meet. The experience either involves clunky systems that feel hollow, transactional, and opaque (think: like the black market), or is highly polarizing with an over emphasis on classist attributes and good looks (think: a cringy dating site). A lot of these issues are rooted in the traditional system’s reliance on cash compensation, which can feel dehumanizing for all involved – including the intended parents, the donors, and ultimately the donor-conceived children (in fact, one recent Harvard study found that 62.2% of donor-conceived adults think the exchange of money for donor gametes is wrong, and 40.6% are “disturbed” by the fact that money was exchanged around their conception). This doesn’t even touch on the lack of ethnic diversity amongst donors, which leaves many intended parents without adequate options for building families that reflect their backgrounds. Or the misleading concept of anonymity in egg donation, which (as underscored by ASRM ) opens the door to exploitation. This is all a massive disservice to those going through infertility and who sacrificed so much to get to this point, cancer survivors who might not be able to have biological children, and to the entire LGBTQ+ community who rely on donors as one of the first essential steps in family building.
At Cofertility, we’re introducing a human centered approach to egg donation to transparently and confidently match intended parents with egg donors, while radically restructuring the cost of egg-freezing along the way to address key accessibility issues. Our platform is formally launching today with two platforms, Freeze by Co and Family by Co.
Our Freeze by Co platform enables women to more accessibly pursue egg freezing through two programs. With our Split program, those who qualify can freeze their eggs for free when they give half of the eggs retrieved to a family who can’t otherwise conceive, including couples with infertility, gay dads, and more. Those in our Keep program can freeze their eggs and store them all for their own later use, while still taking advantage of discounts throughout the process to lighten the financial load. All members get access to our active online community, where they can connect openly about their egg-freezing experience and support one another through it in real time.
Our Family by Co platform is our human-centered approach for matching intended parents with egg donors in our Split program. Matches are made in a personal, empathic way including educational resources, support tools, and a community of other intended parents. The intended parents in our Family by Co program express gratitude and a greater sense of purpose that they can play a role in helping someone preserve their future fertility in a very accessible format, in contrast to the more transactional nature of cash compensation for egg-donation. We welcome all intended parents — single or coupled, regardless of what brought them here — and support them with compassion and respect for whatever path is best for them.
Together, our programs create a new kind of human-first ecosystem for fertility care and third party reproduction: dramatically more people can preserve their reproductive options through free egg-freezing via our Split program, women can have a life-altering impact on intended parents through our empathy-led donor matching platform, and intended parents can grow their families with the supportive, personal experience they deserve. And by bringing together egg donation and egg-freezing in a thoughtful, scalable way, we hope to address some of the key tension points in fertility care: the exclusionary cost of egg freezing, the exploitative and transactional nature of cash compensation in egg donation, and the lack of socioeconomic diversity amongst egg donors that prohibits intended parents from building the families they want.
We’re fortunate to have some of the most thoughtful, respected investors and healthcare thinkers on our side. Our seed funding is led by Initialized Capital and Offline Ventures, with participation from Coalition Partners, Muse Capital, Arkitekt Ventures, and the Co-founders and CEOs of Figs, Hello Sunshine, Mented Cosmetics and more. We couldn’t be more energized by this group of women, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime to be building this company for ourselves, each other, and women and intended parents everywhere.
In the end, Cofertility is about everyone having the power to make the fertility decisions that are right for them. Because we all deserve better when going through one of the most personal, vital parts of society: building a family.
Want to talk about joining one of our programs? Send us a note!