PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — When Thorns players step off the field, they now have access to fertility services thanks to a new partnership with US Fertility.
Last week, the club announced that US Fertility physicians will provide education and fertility care options to Thorns FC players and their families. US Fertility plans to support the players, so they don’t have to choose between their careers and their plans for building a family.
This means they will have access to fertility preservation options and other needed fertility resources.
“We are proud to partner with US Fertility to offer fertility services to our players,” said Thorns FC general manager Karina LeBlanc. “This is an opportunity to do something that empowers our players, enhances reproductive autonomy, and provides needed access to premier fertility care. As a former Thorns player who understands the demands of athletes and their families, I am proud to be a part of a team that is continuously evolving to meet the needs of our players.”
US Fertility will provide players with complimentary fertility physician consultations, fertility evaluations, egg retrieval and freezing, cryopreservation, frozen embryo transfers, educational events led by US Fertility physicians, and other fertility planning resources.
“Through our partnership with the Thorns, we will continue to advance the conversation about the family building options available,” Mark Segal, CEO of US Fertility. “Patient empowerment is all about helping people gain greater control over the decisions that affect their health. We’re here to light the way for Thorns players, their fans, and the larger community. As a network that spans across the US and that is continually innovating and growing, US Fertility is ready and proud to support Thorns organization.”
US Fertility is described as the largest physician-led integrated network of fertility practices in the United States. With more than 120,000 babies born to its credit, they complete more than 29,000 IVF cycles annually, and perform more than a thousand elective and donor egg freezing cycles annually, added the announcement.
The club noted that age is the single most important factor affecting fertility for females.
“At 20 weeks gestation, females have about six million eggs, which is the largest number of eggs they will ever have in their lifetime. At birth, females will lose approximately half of their eggs, and by the time they reach puberty, they will only have about 200,000 eggs left,” explained Thorns FC. “As women age, their egg quantity and quality will continue to decrease, which can significantly impact their ability to conceive. In women ages 30 to 35, there is a gradual decline in their ability to become pregnant, with a sharp decline after age 40, or younger for some women.”
The announcement added, “With lower egg quality and quantity, conception becomes more difficult, and the chances of a chromosomal abnormality, miscarriage, or pregnancy complication becomes more common. Egg freezing helps preserve future fertility and family-building options.”