Member spotlight

Carrot member spotlight: Erika's fertility and parenting journey

Erika is the Head of Web & Content Strategy for Invitae Corp., a leading medical genetics company. Having a fertility and family-building benefit was part of Erika’s selection criteria for a new employer during her job search. While she was thankful that she had access to resources and clinical care through Carrot from the get-go, she had no idea that the benefit would play such an important role in her pregnancy journey. Today, Erika and her husband — who was her high school sweetheart — are the proud parents of a nine-month-old child, and Erika continues to use Carrot for parenting support. We sat down with her to learn more about her experience.

How did you first hear about Carrot, and what led you to take advantage of the benefit?

My husband and I have been together for 20 years. We always knew we wanted children, but we weren’t in a rush to begin growing our family. It wasn’t until we hit our 30s that we began our fertility journey, starting with genetic testing and general health screenings. Based on the test results and our respective medical histories, we didn’t anticipate having any issues getting pregnant. 

Around the time we began thinking more seriously about having children, I started working for Invitae, which offers Carrot as a benefit. Working in the San Francisco Bay Area where there are many industry-leading companies with great benefits, I knew that fertility benefits were increasingly common. That became one of the primary things I was looking for during my job search — and I’m so glad that I did. After a year of trying to get pregnant, we still hadn’t been successful. I learned that I had two reproductive conditions (endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS) that were making getting pregnant challenging for us. I was eventually given an infertility diagnosis, and after going through the healthcare system, my husband and I decided that we needed additional support and guidance. Thankfully, I had Carrot, so I could easily create an account and start taking advantage of services and support immediately.

Can you share what you found most helpful about your Carrot benefit?

There are so many other stressors to deal with when pursuing fertility care. The financial support we received through the Carrot benefit eliminated a major source of stress at a time when we truly felt stretched to capacity. At a time when we were overwhelmed and a bit defeated, Carrot dollars empowered us! 

What are some other aspects of the benefit that you took advantage of? 

We took advantage of the Carrot Card, Carrot Rx, and the reimbursement service — to cover medical consultations, testing for both of us, ovarian stimulation medications for me, and intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedures (we went through two cycles, and both were completely covered). My husband is a clinician who works for a healthcare system that doesn’t offer Carrot. Fortunately, because Carrot recognizes that fertility is very much a family journey, his semen analysis was covered by my Carrot benefits. Identifying providers who were in the Carrot network was so simple, and using my Carrot Card at our appointments was seamless.

When we started this journey, we didn’t realize tapping into Carrot would provide so much more than a financial safety net. From the provider network, to the benefits guide, to virtual events, to the care navigation team, and the postpartum experts, I was so grateful for it all. 

Did you have the outcome that you and your husband hoped for?

Yes! We achieved a successful pregnancy following our second IUI cycle. We have a beautiful, nine-month-old baby boy. And I’m continuing to lean into my Carrot benefit today by attending virtual events focused on parenting tips. When we try for our second child, or if I need another fertility-related medical procedure, I will most definitely use Carrot.

What advice would you share with someone who is considering using Carrot?

I didn’t realize how much support I would need on this journey. I’m glad that I had the foresight to look for an employer that offered a fertility benefit, but it’s one thing to talk about this benefit hypothetically and another to actually use it. My advice is to plan ahead and take advantage of all the resources available to you through Carrot. The resources and support gave our experience structure; it was the opposite of a Google search, because you know the information is grounded in data and clinical best practices, and you’re not sitting alone trying to figure things out.

Anything else you’d like to share?

My work is visual and focused on the user experience, so I really appreciate how the app is set up. Everything I needed to access was easy to find. I love how the Carrot Plans are laid out. It’s impressive.

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