Fertility benefits and family-building support have become increasingly important for both employees and employers alike. Maven's 2024 State of Women's and Family Health Benefits Report surveyed more than 3,000 employees and 1,200 HR leaders, the vast majority of whom said reproductive and women's health benefits were crucial for employee recruitment and retention. And 57% of workers have switched jobs or seriously considered other job offers based on fertility and family-planning benefits.

Beyond being crucial for DE&I efforts in the workplace, employer-sponsored fertility benefits have become even more essential in light of increasing reproductive health restrictions in the United States. Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022, 48% of people reported feeling more anxious, and of these, nearly half said this anxiety affects their productivity at work. In light of this economic and cultural uncertainty, 71% of companies are adding or plan to add enhanced reproductive healthcare to their benefits offerings.

From preconception care to inclusive workplace policies and holistic support for fertility treatment, here's how employers can help their employees boost fertility and get pregnant.

Understanding the role of employers in supporting fertility

The impact of fertility on employee well-being and productivity

Nearly one in three employees are currently expecting a child or have plans to grow their family in the next two years. If they aren't getting the family-building support they need from their employer, many of these employees will consider leaving their jobs, with one third ranking reproductive and family benefits as a key reason they would leave their current position for a new job.

While holistic fertility care begins at preconception with optimizing natural fertility, many people struggle to get pregnant. The CDC defines infertility as the inability to conceive after one year of trying or after six months for women over 35. Infertility affects roughly one in six people worldwide, many of whom participate in the workforce.

The stress of infertility affects employees physically, emotionally, and financially—and it can be all-consuming. Many employees struggling to get pregnant report reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, and overall dissatisfaction at work. In fact, people navigating an infertility diagnosis report the same levels of anxiety and depression as those with cancer or heart disease.

Research suggests employees are more loyal to their employers when they receive fertility benefits through them. Beyond employee retention, fertility benefits are increasingly important to attract top talent. Employees are 1.5 times more likely to recommend their employer if they offer fertility benefits.

Creating a supportive workplace environment

An easy way for employers to support women's health and employees' chances of getting pregnant is by encouraging open conversations about fertility and family planning. Since the vast majority of women have at least three misconceptions about their fertility, inclusive and accessible education in the workplace can help boost health literacy.

Beyond equipping managers to talk to their teams about available resources, companies can also set up employee resource groups (ERGs) for people to build community and share resources on their family-building journeys.

Maven’s State of Women’s and Family Health Benefits 2024

How fertility, maternal health, and Gen Z are transforming benefits decisions.

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Maven’s State of Women’s and Family Health Benefits 2024

Employer-provided fertility benefits

Comprehensive coverage

Fertility issues can affect all employees regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, and marital status, making fertility support crucial for corporate DE&I strategies. For example, even though many LGBTQIA+ couples want to grow their families, 63% of them can't because the costly treatments are not covered by traditional insurance policies.

While the cost of fertility treatments can be devastating to employees, 97% of employers say offering infertility coverage has not actually resulted in a significant increase in health insurance plan costs.

Infertility treatment options depend on various factors, including the cause and duration of infertility, age, and personal preferences. As many people opt to have children later, companies can support employees' chances of getting pregnant by covering egg and sperm freezing.

For people with uteruses, doctors might prescribe fertility drugs to trigger or regulate ovulation. In a form of artificial insemination called intrauterine insemination, or IUI, healthy sperm are inserted into the uterus at optimal ovulating times, determined by the menstrual cycle. Sperm can be provided by partners or donors.

Assisted reproductive technology, or ART, is any fertility treatment that handles both sperm and eggs. The most well-known ART technique is in vitro fertilization, or IVF, in which mature eggs are removed from the ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a lab. The fertilized eggs, known as embryos, are then placed back in the uterus. IVF often uses a couple's eggs and/or sperm, but single people or same-sex couples may opt to use donor eggs and/or sperm.

While IVF is by far the most common, other ART procedures include intrafallopian transfer, frozen embryo transfer (FET), and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Preconception & mental health care

Robust preconception care may eliminate the need to seek fertility treatments altogether. By providing employees access to preconception support, employers can enable them to meet with nutritionists, fertility awareness educators, reproductive endocrinologists, and other specialists who can help improve their chances of conceiving without treatment. 30% of Maven Fertility members achieve pregnancy without assisted reproductive technology (ART)

Since each fertility journey is unique and often incredibly taxing, mental health care and counseling often necessary to accompany other treatments, including preconception care.

Maven provides inclusive, comprehensive support for all employees throughout the family journey by eliminating care gaps and creating better experiences for all. Maven members receive personalized, timely support starting at preconception, assisting employees when they need it most. Employees receive a curated team of healthcare specialists based on their preferences and have 24/7 virtual access to expert practitioners from mental health providers to nutritionists, including when they are trying to get pregnant.

Financial support for fertility treatments

A single cycle of IVF can cost up to $30,000 depending on the services and prescriptions needed. Given that the average person needs 2.5 cycles of IVF to become pregnant, it's no surprise that 67% of people who have undergone fertility treatment say the cost had long-term effects on their finances. Employer reimbursement and financial support for these procedures can alleviate both the monetary stress and the mental load.

Workplace policies to support fertility

Flexible work arrangements

Beyond the sheer financial cost, there is also an incredibly high time cost associated with IVF and other forms of ART, which employer support and reimbursement can also help alleviate by allowing flexible work hours and remote work options for employees undergoing fertility treatment.

Employee resource groups

While employers should promote health literacy across the board, it's especially helpful to create support groups for employees dealing with fertility issues specifically. These groups enable peer support through sharing experiences and resources, and companies can also connect their employees to virtual support offerings.

Promoting overall wellness

Employers can support healthy pregnancy before even preconception care through accessible wellness programs. Wellness in the workplace can include providing education about nutrition, resources and fitness stipends for exercise, and other incentive programs.

How Maven can help

Offering comprehensive family-building benefits—including preconception care, support groups, financial reimbursement, and holistic mental health care throughout the process—can be daunting. Maven, the leading women's and family healthcare company, is here to help with employees' family needs at every stage of the family-building journey.

At Maven, we offer an integrated platform that provides clinical, emotional, and financial support all in one place. Your employees deserve care that is compassionate, knowledgeable, and accessible during some of the most vulnerable times in their lives.

Find out more about offering fertility benefits with Maven and request a demo today.

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