As the Co-Founder and CEO of Aavia, an app designed to connect the dots between ovarian hormone health and women's daily lives, Aagya Mathur stands as an icon in women’s health. Recognized by Forbes as one of the top women leading startups that are disrupting health tech, she's not only shaping the industry but also influencing individual lives through her personal choices and advocacy.
Aagya's background in Neuroscience from the University of Virginia, combined with her MBA from MIT Sloan, has laid the foundation for her innovative work. Her past experience in management consulting across healthcare and retail clients further shaped her understanding of women's needs and inspired her to take a proactive approach to family planning.
We got the chance to interview her about her egg freezing experience, so let’s dive in.
The decision to freeze
"I am lucky to have many older sister figures," Aagya explained, describing the influence of family and friends' experiences on her decision to freeze her eggs. She continued, "Their willingness to be vulnerable and share really opened my eyes to potential hardships. I remember one who explicitly told me – I wish I knew that freezing my eggs was an option when I was younger and that I did it."
At 32, Aagya sought her parents' thoughts and support, forging ahead with a process she knew was right for her. The personal stories and her background in the women's health space empowered her to make an informed decision.
The process: challenges and rewards
Aagya's journey involved meticulous planning and temporary lifestyle changes. She revealed, "I didn’t travel or go out late too much for about a month, and my friends and family showed up for me throughout the process."
Those moments of support became memorable, with friends and family members showing their support: “It was really special that each night someone would show up for me whether going to go get our nails done or ordering Italian and sitting on my couch.”
They successfully retrieved a number of eggs which are now safely frozen in long-term storage.The hardest part, she recalled, was "Feeling very heavy before the procedure! But it wasn’t too bad."
The first injection was the hardest
A common fear among many who embark on the journey of egg freezing is the shots. Aagya, despite having taken the MCAT and shadowing doctors before deciding not to pursue medical school, shared this apprehension.
"I was most nervous for the first injection!" Aagya recounted. The idea of injecting herself was unsettling and a significant obstacle she had to overcome. But ultimately, she wanted it more than she was afraid of it.
With trepidation, she administered that first shot, and much to her relief, discovered that her fears were unfounded. "After administering the first shot, it was a breeze! You can't even feel the needle," she exclaimed.
Her experience with the first injection is a metaphor for the entire egg freezing process and, perhaps, for life's challenges in general. Often, the anticipation of an event can be far more intimidating than the actual experience. Once Aagya faced her fear head-on, she found the rest of the process relatively smooth.
Impact on personal and professional life
The timing of the procedure pushed Aagya's plans by a few months, but the experience also illuminated the compassion of her investors. She said, "I was closing a round of funding, and actually it helped bring light to investors who cared for their founders." One investor even sent her a silk eye mask to help with the recovery process after the procedure.
Aagya was dating someone during this whole process, who is now a long-term boyfriend. “I was dating someone at the time and I didn’t expect it to be such a weird topic to discuss. I think we need to keep de-stigmatizing this. I wasn’t planning a family with him - I was just planning.”
“I wasn’t planning a family with him - I was just planning”
Aagya's entrepreneurial spirit, combined with her unswerving commitment to empowering women, shines through her personal and professional choices. Her decision to freeze her eggs aligns perfectly with her mission to provide women with the tools and information they need to take control of their health and lives.
Looking back and advice for others
Reflecting on the experience, Aagya expressed no regrets: "I am really glad I did it!" Her advice to others considering egg freezing is resolute: "If you’re considering it, take the leap! Even if it’s just as an insurance for a second kid, if you choose to have kids at all."
Her story, woven with insights, courage, and empathy, contributes to the broader narrative of women's reproductive health. Aagya’s contributions to women’s health, her leadership, and her personal journey serve as an inspiration to many, underscoring the importance of empowerment, awareness, and self-care in our lives. Her work with Aavia continues to break barriers and establish connections, highlighting the essential dialogue between health, technology, and personal empowerment.
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