Two people and a baby at a café in Stockholm
Photo: Victor Gårdsäter

Stockholm company puts infertility support on the agenda

Pregnancy is seen as “one of the most natural things in the world”, says Elin Øyre, CEO and co-founder of Stockholm-based fertility support platform Bumpy. “So when you can’t get pregnant, you take the blame for it.”

As many as one in six couples face fertility issues, while one in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Yet despite rising infertility rates, those affected often struggle in silence.

Elin speaks from personal experience. For the better part of a decade, she juggled fertility treatments with a career at a global tech company. Yet because of the stigma surrounding infertility, she didn’t feel she could discuss her struggle with her employer or open up to those around her.

Meanwhile, Elin’s Bumpy co-founder Andrea had been on her own infertility journey, which included several IVF treatments and a pioneering uterus transplant in 2019. The operation itself was a success although Andrea later experienced major complications and the uterus was ultimately removed.

Both women knew they weren’t alone in their battle with infertility, yet they couldn’t help but feel it. Because unlike other diseases - which infertility is considered to be if you can’t conceive within 12 months - infertility is often accompanied by a sense of shame. And despite equally affecting both men and women, Elin says it’s still often perceived as a “female issue”. “That’s something we wanted to address.”

Round-the-clock fertility support

Elin and Andrea set out to create a safe, inclusive safe where both men and women could discuss fertility. The internet was already flooded with unvetted fertility advice; they wanted to ensure the advice shared on their platform was safe and medically sound.

A BETA version of the app launched just before summer 2022 with the support of local fertility clinics and a medical advisory board including three of Sweden’s top fertility experts.

“People tend to do a lot of Googling themselves, thinking that someone else holds the key to their success. That’s a big problem - when you start self-medicating,” says Elin. “Everything on Bumpy is carefully checked to ensure the medical advice is approved by experts and supported by science.”

As Bumpy started to take shape, the co-founders realized a vital piece of the puzzle was still missing. A common pain point experienced by focus group participants was the lack of support and timely answers to their questions, difficulty finding information and getting honest opinions to help them choose the right fertility clinic based on their needs.

Consequently, Bumpy evolved from an app-based community to a go-to-advisor, supporting people to find fertility providers based on their needs. The app blends a community-led forum with a multitude of scientific articles, and honest clinic recommendations .

Infertility doesn’t work 9 to 5

Fertility treatment is a time-consuming and emotionally-draining process — and one not limited to working hours when clinics are open. 98% of people who experience infertility face unfair social pressure, physical pain, financial stress, depression and/or anxiety and due to the stigma attached most don’t disclose their struggles.

Removing the taboo around infertility is a cornerstone of the Bumpy mission, supporting people who are navigating their fertility journeys to choose the right fertility provider, enable them to share experiences.

Infertility can have a “drastically negative impact” on people's day-to-day life and it can be a “bumpy road to parenthood”, says Elin, but with the Bumpy app no one needs to navigate it alone.

Bumpy is currently available to download in Swedish and English, with plans to continue localizing languages and features.