Gynecologists may know us on a deeply (read: uncomfortably) intimate level, but the one topic that seems to be off the table? Fertility and family planning. “They check us for STDs and other complications, but they don’t talk to us about our fertility,” says nutritionist and health coach Gessie Thompson on the latest episode of R29 Unbothered's Go Off, Sis. “They don’t say, ‘Do you want to have children? There are two tests; let’s check your AMH and your FSH levels.'”
Given that Black women are disproportionately affected by diabetes, endometriosis, heart disease, and fibroids, Thompson, who struggled with infertility connected to those non-cancerous growths, doesn’t understand why physicians skip conversations about the path to motherhood. Even if the patient isn’t thinking about babies in her 20s, there should be a discussion, especially because women’s egg production drops in her 30s.
Thompson could’ve benefited from this information when she (at age 30) and her husband decided to have kids. After a miscarriage, multiple surgeries, and several rounds of IVF, Thompson's miracle baby Nia was born. She battled infertility for a decade. And now the DeTox Now founder is devoted to helping women naturally shrink fibroids and endometrioma, banish toxic food, and have their own miracle babies.
Some insurance plans cover egg freezing and IVF, but if yours doesn’t, Thompson flags the hefty price tag attached to these procedures. “What are some of the financial hacks for reproductive planning?” asks Maiya Carmichael, Refinery29’s Unbothered co-host and social media coordinator.
Thompson nods to actress Kellee Stewart’s suggestion in OWN’s Eggs Over Easy documentary. “Have an egg shower," she says. "And say, ‘For my birthday I wanna freeze my eggs. Here’s my Cash App, GoFundMe, and Zelle. The gift I’m giving myself is preserving my fertility, so when I’m ready to build my family, [my eggs] are ready for me.’”
To hear more about Thompson's radical self-love philosophies, dating non-negotiables, and appearance in Eggs Over Easy, listen to the full episode, below.