Episode 115: PCOS and Fertility: How Expedia’s Fertility Benefit Gave New Hope
There are a multitude of challenges that people face on their family building journey — whether it’s being misdiagnosed, not having enough information about your health, or facing a global pandemic. Angela Vega experienced all three, among others.
Angela, a Progyny member through Expedia, was initially misdiagnosed with endometriosis at an early age but when she decided she wanted to have kids, they correctly diagnosed her with PCOS. Once she learnt what was going on in her body, she had to deal with a whole new set of challenges. From a misdiagnosis, to IVF, to finding fertility coverage, to having a baby while testing positive for COVID, Angela covers everything in her journey and what the experience taught her.
Guest: Angela Vega, Progyny Member
Host: Dan Bulger
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Here are some highlights from this episode:
Dealing with the effects of PCOS
9:31 – 10:39
Angela Vega: Everything from cystic acne, to increased risk of cancer, to fertility issues, to being pre-diabetic or more exposed to becoming diabetic; the list was just so long. I was a little frustrated at the time. I was a little frustrated at my doctors because it was played off as “no big deal, it’s just polycystic ovaries”. And of course, it didn’t just feel like no big deal, it was like, “Oh my gosh, so many women have this”, and it’s shrugged off even though it impacts so much of their health. The problem they were trying to solve for me at that time was like, “Oh, you want to get pregnant? Let’s solve the pregnancy issue”. But in my mind, it was like, “holy crap, I have this syndrome, shouldn’t we address that?” I was just so surprised because once you take off the mat, you start to see the ugly things underneath.
Employer sponsored fertility benefits
28:28 – 30:38
Angela Vega: I think another thing people don’t understand is when companies like Expedia offer benefits like this, it’s not only a signal to how they operate in the world, and what they feel for human life, but also their focus on the family being created in whatever way a person wants to create a family. Whether it’s through IVF, or adoption, or any other facility benefit or freezing their eggs, they recognize that there’s just not this one path. They understood what I was going through and knew it wasn’t easy. And while it didn’t impact my performance at my job, it was a part of who I was at that time. It really has impacted my life so much that Expedia offers this and even more so that me and my husband love to travel. Even the baby room is all about traveling; we have a gigantic map up. I swear this kid is just going to explore the world all over and it just aligns so well with all the ideals we have in our lives.
Dan has been in the healthcare industry for the last six years as a multimedia content producer. Better known as ‘Video Dan’ he as interviewed numerous doctors, patients and other experts in the world of fertility. He’s also the producer for this podcast, This is Infertility. On a personal note Dan’s parents started fostering kids when he was four years old, and he considers himself a proud older brother to over 100 foster children.
Angela met her husband, Edgar, at the age of 19 while attending the Univerity of Texas at Austin. In 2012, they tied the knot to start a life filled with travel, adventure, and novelty. While Angela knew she might have trouble conceiving due to her diagnosis of endometriosis at the age of 17 and decided to hold off on having children until they felt ready. After 6 years of competing in Triathlons and road races, a few job changes, and traveling to 20 countries, she was ready. The problem was, her body wasn’t. She was diagnosed with PCOS and went to work on changing her lifestyle to make room for baby. Following 15 months of TTC, with 100% medicated cycles, 2 failed IUIs, and a successful IVF cycle, shehad her first child in December 2020.
Music From This Episode:
Artist: Lee Rosevere
Track: I wanted to live
Track: Going Home
Artist: Mise Darling
Track: No One
Track: Dawn II