Leyla Bilali has been working as a nurse in NYC for about ten years, forming real and honest relationships along the way. She is passionate about helping and supporting others. Her career began in pediatrics, at the Columbia children’s hospital and a general pediatrics office on the Upper East Side. She later transitioned to working as an IVF nurse at RMA, where she discovered her interest in fertility. When she was offered this job at RMA, Leyla did not have much experience with IVF or fertility treatments. However, she decided she wanted to learn about these practices, so she took the job. As she began working with her new patients, she learned not only of her interest in the space but of her gift of working with those facing infertility. Leyla administered IVF medications for patients, often in their homes. The women she worked with expressed their gratitude for her help and support through the IVF process. Leyla has always been very dedicated to her patients, and would sometimes continue to administer the medications even if her patients move away. This was because her patients felt very strongly that they wanted to continue working with her. They told Leyla they felt very comfortable with her. These same patients inspired and encouraged Leyla to start her own business, in which she could specialize in supporting women during their fertility journeys. Leyla has now been working in fertility for five years, and running her business for the last two years.
Leyla started Fertility Together two years ago, merging her medical expertise with her ability to make people feel comfortable and supported. She guides women through their fertility journeys based on their individual needs. Leyla strives to be a nurturing and compassionate partner for women facing obstacles in their fertility. “I have this ability to bond with people and make people feel comfortable,” she shared, “The idea of being super supportive to a patient population really appealed to me.” Her interpersonal bonding skills have allowed Leyla to succeed in providing both nursing services and guidance for women throughout their fertility journeys. She shows them unwavering compassion and support. Leyla works mainly with women who are trying to conceive, yet some patients stay on with her through pregnancy. Her experience in pediatrics also allows her to continue working with women into the newborn phase. “My services are very tailored to what each person needs,” Leyla explained. Her most popular services, however, are the injection administration and the on call service. Her patients can call, email, or text her any time throughout their processes with any questions or concerns.
Leyla believes this level of personalized care makes all the difference. It helps to take away the fear that can be involved in fertility journeys, whether a woman is going in for a fertility assessment, or starting IVF. She says having someone to share ideas with, express concerns, or ask questions, is vital when going through fertility treatments or testing. She works to make trying to conceive a “comfortable, supported process”. This specialized care allows Leyla to form impactful relationships with the women she works with. “Because it’s such an intimate process, you get to form really close relationships with people,” she said. One way that Leyla helps women in their fertility journeys is assisting with IVF injections. She works to make sure women don’t feel like they’re “lost in the shuffle” of large clinics. Administering IVF medication can sometimes be daunting. Doctors usually send video links and other online tutorials, yet if you’ve never given yourself a shot or worked with medicine, this process can be overwhelming. If Leyla is not in her patients’ vicinity and physically able to come assist them, she is always available on FaceTime, email, or text, to guide them through the process. Her services are based on the needs of the individual, which makes the IVF experience less overwhelming for many women.
There is a lack of accessible information about fertility treatments. Leyla describes how patients are often given a large amount of complex information when they go to clinics. When they leave, they may feel overwhelmed by this or forget specific details. This is understandable, given that if you are not trained in medicine, the instructions and information about these procedures can seem complicated and even foregin. Leyla is helping to fill this gap by acting as a resource for women who may not remember every detail about their treatments. “I think having a reference point for the things that come up at the new patient visit is so important,” Leyla said. She believes there should be an online portal or resource where patients can revisit important information about their health. She is currently working to make this a reality at RMA.
Leyla loves to see women reclaiming their health and fertility. “It’s super rewarding to see people taking control of their healthcare,” she said while speaking about egg freezing, which she helps women with by giving them advice and information. “It is a form of self-care. You’re planning for your future.” She is also working to end the stigma around infertility, and fertility treatments. There is no reason for there to be shame around these treatments. Leyla believes that the more people speak openly about infertility, the more positive light will be shone on the fertility world.
Leyla encourages women to take ownership of their health and realize how strong they really are. “I don’t think that enough of my patients really give themselves enough credit for what they go through,” Leyla said. She tells us about all the women she works with who are struggling with infertility, yet still excelling at work and thriving in their personal lives. This inspires Leyla to continue to dedicate herself to helping and supporting these women. She hopes to help women feel less anxious about the obstacles they are facing. One piece of advice Leyla would give women facing obstacles in their fertility is to reach out to the resources available to them. “The support is out there,” Leyla said. She strives to remind them that they are not alone in their journeys, and that there are so many resources women can reach out to for guidance and support on their journeys.