From a Facebook Live presentation with Dr. Haebe, N.M.D. in the "Get Pregnant Fast with Premom" group on September 21st, 2020
Hello, everybody, we're going live today to chat about our new virtual consultation feature. I'm Dr. Patty Haebe. I'm a naturopathic doctor, and I'm the medical advisor for Premom, I have a focus on fertility and hormone optimization. I have a private practice, and I've been working with Premom over the past year to help develop and launch this virtual consultation feature.
I think there's so many women out there with subfertility that just need a little extra help, and this is such a great resource. I'm excited to talk with you guys more about it today because I think it's an awesome tool to be able to connect people to providers that can help them the best for whatever they need.
My Personal Experience with Premom
I first started using Premom years ago, actually, personally for tracking my cycle. I use it, all my clients use it, because I find it to be the best place to track everything -- which you guys all know because you're already using it.
I struggled with PCOS and irregular cycles for a long time. Even after getting off of hormonal contraception for years, my hormones were just kind of crazy. So, I was able to use this to dial in and zoom in and get myself fixed up. I have a son currently, and all through that. In addition to my private practice, and then working with Premom as their medical advisor, I also provide virtual consultations via their Premom Pregnancy Advisor consultation application. So, I'm familiar with being on both sides of the app. I've been on the user side tracking my LH, my basal body temperature, my progesterone levels, all that stuff. And then I'm also on the provider side helping people dig in and figure out what's going on with their fertility.
What are Premom Virtual Consultations?
These consultations were created in order to connect users of Premom with fertility specialists. A lot of times we're limited just by our OB or our PCP. And there are so many awesome instructors out there, that we just really wanted to bridge that gap and help make these connections.
Who Are the Specialists?
This is a collection not just of doctors, but a fertility awareness method instructors from all types, from Creighton from Marquette, all different types of natural family planning techniques. We have nurses, nurse practitioners, MDS, DOs, naturopathic doctors -- an integrative approach to care -- as well as even some nutritionists and holistic practitioners. We may even be bringing on some mental health pieces in the future as well. We're really trying to provide a really well-rounded approach to fertility, and everybody's needs are so unique, We're really trying to cater and connect people to that.
What Is a Consultation About?
It depends on your need. Whatever it is, we have a consultation available. There are people that are just trying to learn baby-making basics. A lot of you are probably veterans, and you're really good about using BBT and your LH strips.
But for some, it's a lot to learn:
- Are you taking your LH at the right time of the day?
- Is your basal body temperature being tracked appropriately?
All those things. We have fertility awareness method instructors, for example, available for that. We also help people who need troubleshooting:
- My basal body temperature is spiking, but I'm not getting an LH Peak? What's going on? Am I doing this right?
- Am I missing something?
- What's wrong?
- Am I timing intercourse appropriately?
Also, maybe people have been tracking for a few months, still not pregnant. And they feel like they're missing something and want to know if they're doing it right. That's what we're providing.
And then it gets into more complex things:
- I'm having irregular cycles.
- I haven't conceived after a few months.
- I'm not thinking that I'm ovulating. Why am I not ovulating?
- My doctor won't work with me yet. And I have PCOS. I've been trying for six months. What are my next steps?
When you're getting into these more complex cases, you could consider working with a doctor who was able to identify what your next steps needed to be.
- Do you need lab testing?
- Do you need imaging?
- Is it nutritional and lifestyle changes that you need, and what products could be helpful?
You're getting help with your fertility and the explanation of options that are available.
Take Charge of Your Fertility
Really, my goal is for people to really learn to advocate for themselves -- give you the tools and the education you need to get the answers that you need. Because I know not always every doctor is willing to work with you the way you want to be worked with. So, I always like to educate people, give you the knowledge, and then you're able to go and seek out the answers and solutions that you need next, options to provide that deeper insight. We have that kind of broad spectrum, which is really cool.
How Does the Consultation Work?
- You access it through your phone. It can be a chat, it can be an online call, or it can be a video. They're all secure, and it's through the app.
- We look at what the client is looking to gain. So, maybe you want to know if you are timing intercourse correctly. Why are cycles shortening? Are you doing everything right? Do you just want to make sure: ("Do I just need to calm down and wait for this to happen? Or am I doing something wrong? What are the next steps in investigation?") That's the beginning of the consultation.
- The specialist gives your analysis. Depending on whether you're working with a fertility awareness, method instructor or a doctor or nurse, they will dig in in different ways, analyzing your cycle through your data. From the provider side, we're able to see everything that you allow us access to. So we can see all your LH strips, any progesterone or pregnancy tests, and we can use all that information. We can even do a screen share feature where we can walk through your data together -- which is really really cool -- and say, "This month was good; this month something was wonky. Let's dig in.
- We can use the rest of the time to talk about suggestions and a plan. This may include dietary and lifestyle changes, changes and improvements in your charting or intercourse timing -- or maybe you need to track cervical mucus a little bit differently. We might provide dietary and lifestyle recommendations, etc.
- We might propose considerations. For example, starting with a fertility awareness method instructor, who might say it looks like you're doing everything right. "We're missing something, let's consider moving you to the next step: working with a nurse practitioner or a fertility reproductive endocrinologist or MD to see what's missing here," propose those considerations. From there, recommending imaging, lab work, nutrients, encouraging, -- giving you the tools, basically -- that you need to go out and figure out what's going on with your fertility.
That's an example of what a consultation looks like. They're usually about 30 minutes long. It's a little longer than you'd maybe get with your typical doctor's visit, which is nice. It gives you more time to ask questions -- our providers don't have to feel so rushed -- it's just time for us to sit and connect and really dig in and figure out what's going on.
What Is the Nine Cycle Money-Back Guarantee and Free Consultation?
I'm not sure if you've heard of it yet, but Premom is offering this nine cycle money-back guarantee, which I think is awesome. As long as you have done six cycles, you've had an LH peak or you've had your basal body temperature tracked -- and you've been timing intercourse correctly, in your fertile window -- and you're still not pregnant after six cycles, Premom is actually providing a fertility consultation with a specialist. Just really cool; making sure that we're getting you where you need to be; we're troubleshooting and we're getting you results.
How Is This Different from a Normal Doctor's Visit?
One of the main driving reasons that we put this together is because according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, doctors aren't really gonna start digging into your fertility until you've been trying to conceive for 12 months -- if under the age of 35 -- and for six months, if over the age of 35. And I don't know about you, but when things aren't going right after five months, I start to get frustrated myself. I want to dig in; I want to find answers, and I want to get to that solution.
So, a cool thing about this is we've created this to provide education and resources to people whose doctors are saying, "I'm not really willing to jump in yet." And in their defense, they don't have to -- our industry medical standard is that you don't have to intervene or investigate until 12 months -- or six months, if you're over the age of 35. However, medicine is just not one-size-fits-all. And it tends to be very reactive instead of proactive, so we're really flipping the script on fertility and creating a proactive approach and resource for people: to talk to providers and start investigating early, giving you the tools to get your own thyroid tested, figure out what you're looking for.
- How is your ovarian age looking?
- Are your nutrients optimized?
- Are you using the app appropriately?
- Are you using LH strips correctly? What's that looking like?
- Are you timing intercourse appropriately?
We're really digging into that stuff. There's so much we can do, and as doctors in a traditional primary care setting, there's just not a lot of time to sit down and look through this data. This is why we really wanted to create this resource.
What Is the Cost?
The cost varies. Depending whether you want to work with a fertility awareness method instructor, you want to work with a naturopathic doctor, you want to work with an MD, you want to work with a reproductive endocrinologist -- pricing varies between $40 to $200. It's whatever you're looking for and what specialty you're looking for.
We're not accepting insurance at this time. But it's cool because you just get to pick who you want to work with. We have a huge database of these providers. You can read through, look at their bios, see what they specialize in, look at how they approach fertility. You may want someone super conventional and by the books; you may want somebody who maybe knows a bit about herbs and nutrients, or you might want somebody who really focuses on nutrition and dietary changes. You can look through and find somebody that's a really good fit for you, which is kind of cool because it's hard to find somebody -- and especially when it comes to fertility -- you really need somebody who's a good fit for you.
Can Consultants Be Able to Help Older Moms Trying to Conceive, Over 45?
Absolutely. Anybody can be seen in this process. And I know a lot of times IVF clinics will close their doors when women turn 43 or 45. And that's not our approach; anybody is welcome. And we'll do whatever we can do to support you. I've worked with a couple people over the age of 43 and above 45. And there's still hope; there's lots we can do to still support those eggs, optimize your body. So yes, over 45 -- more than welcome there.
How Do I Get Started?
Thanks, everybody, for tuning in. I hope you guys learned a little bit about this consultation feature. You can access it through your Premom app. If you hit the "More" tab at the bottom of your page, there's an option and you can hit a button that says "Schedule Consultation." It's a big pink square. You can either add your own OB or PCP doctor on to Premom, which is really cool. You can actually meet with your own OB/GYN through Premom, which is super neat. You can connect. If you don't want to work with your OB, you can work with somebody else. Other providers are listed: NFP practitioners, OB/GYN doctors, NFP certified nurses and health professionals and more. And you can just browse around these categories and find somebody that's a good fit for you.
Thank you all for your time this morning or this afternoon -- depending on where you are -- but hope you guys all have a great weekend and you learned a lot. We'll see you on the app!