Amy Schumer Wants to Give IVF Patients “One Less Thing to Worry About”
Amy Schumer has been vocal about her experiences with hyperemesis, endometriosis, and IVF – from her candid posts on social media to her 2020 HBO documentary, “Expecting Amy.” Now, the women’s health advocate is investing in the fertility company TMRW Life Sciences in an effort to innovate management of frozen eggs and embryos.
“I’m extremely grateful to be a mother, but becoming one was a long and difficult process,” Schumer said in a statement. Schumer gave birth to her son, Gene, in May 2019 via cesarean section after being hospitalized in 2018 due to hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness). She went through IVF in the hopes of giving Gene a sibling but ultimately wound up unsuccessful. “When I went through IVF, it was physically and emotionally exhausting, and there was so much uncertainty. I never thought to ask how my embryos were being managed and stored.”
Many “embryologists still perform manual, time-consuming, and often error-prone tasks” when it comes to the monitoring and organization of frozen eggs and embryos, per TMRW’s press release. But the company has created an FDA-approved automatic tracking system to monitor frozen eggs and embryos used in IVF. The technology allows for visibility – for the patient and the doctor – through digital identification and tracking.
It’s an innovation that could help many prospective parents, as research predicts a significant growth in fertility services with a projected number of IVF births on the rise. Factors include a rise in late parenthood, an increasing number of same-sex couples, and technological developments in the fertility-treatment space.
However, the high cost of IVF, challenging success rates, and risks and side effects associated with IVF have made it a risky venture for many. Advancements in monitoring technology will, at the very least, allow for a higher success rate of IVF because potential problems will be identified quicker. “[TMRW’s] technology is transforming the fertility industry, making lab processes safer and more transparent, so patients have one less thing to worry about,” Schumer said.