“Don’t worry about having kids right now—you can always freeze your eggs.”
“My friend froze her eggs when she was younger and now she has two beautiful children. You can do that too!”
There’s often a lot of pressure on people to have children, and it’s likely they’ve heard comments like these before. Some like to think of egg freezing as a safety net for those who want to delay childbirth or preserve their fertility until they’re ready. The procedure, where eggs are harvested and frozen unfertilized, provides an assurance that people can have kids when they’re ready—even if they’re in their late 30s, 40s, or even 50s.
Egg freezing is growing more popular in the past few years, with over 12,000 people in the U.S. freezing their eggs in 2020 alone. And employees are asking for more support as they pursue egg freezing: a recent Maven report found 31% of employees wanted their company to offer fertility care, including egg freezing benefits.
As you think about how to better support your employees, egg freezing should be top of mind. However, the procedure is more complex than it seems, and employers need to understand the nuances in order to provide their employees the best support possible during this phase of life. Here’s what HR leaders need to know.
Understanding the evidence & costs of egg freezing
Despite the rising popularity of egg freezing, it may not be a realistic solution for everyone. A recent study found that only 39% of frozen eggs led to a live birth. This means that almost two-thirds of people who freeze their eggs can’t actually have children with them. The study found that age and the number of eggs have the highest impact on success. In other words, the younger people were when they harvested their eggs and the more eggs they harvested, the more likely they were to achieve pregnancy.
Successful egg freezing isn’t just affected by age—it can also be extremely cost-prohibitive. Insurance coverage for egg freezing can vary state-to-state, but unless their employer offers additional support, people often have to pay more than $20,000 out of pocket to freeze, store, and implant their eggs. Most people in their twenties aren’t thinking about freezing their eggs, and many can’t afford it. You can see the dilemma: it often isn’t accessible to people when it’s most effective.
How employers can better support people pursuing egg freezing
Building a family is a dream for many of your employees. And despite the costs and efficacy, some still plan to freeze their eggs—and they need your support. Here are a few key areas where employers can provide better support to employees pursuing egg freezing:
Specialist care & education
Employees who are thinking about their reproductive future need trusted resources. Meeting with specialists, like fertility awareness educators and reproductive endocrinologists, can help them decide whether egg freezing is right for them and their chances of a successful pregnancy when they are ready to conceive. To avoid disappointment down the line, clinically-vetted educational content about egg freezing can also be beneficial so employees know what to expect during the process.
Financial coverage for egg freezing
Freezing eggs can be expensive—and the costs continue to rise as employees prepare for implantation. Since traditional health insurance often won’t cover egg freezing, employers can ease some of the burden on employees by providing financial support during the process. This additional assistance can lead to a better work culture for parents: a Maven report found that 58% of the Best Workplaces for Parents offered egg freezing coverage, compared to only 20% of other workplaces.
Mental health support
Navigating their reproductive health journeys, like deciding to freeze eggs or waiting to see if an implanted embryo is viable, can be a stressful and tumultuous time in your employees’ lives. Providing access to mental health support, like virtual therapists or group classes, gives employees the resources they need to weather the ups and downs of the egg freezing process. And this support benefits your company, too: 57% of employees say their employer proactively supporting their mental wellbeing makes them more loyal to the company.
How Maven can help
As employees consider egg freezing and other reproductive health decisions, employer support can fill in educational, mental, and financial gaps that exist in traditional healthcare. As the leading digital family health platform for employees starting and raising families, Maven can help employers provide their employees the care they need. Through Maven, employees have 24/7/365 access to specialists and Care Advocates, on-demand educational content, and clinician-led group classes so they have a full understanding of the egg freezing process and its outcomes. To learn more about how Maven can support your employees along their reproductive health journey and beyond, schedule a demo today.
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