Every year, a week is set aside in the month of April to raise awareness about infertility. This year, National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) is April 23-April 29. It’s an opportunity to inform the public about the medical and emotional issues faced by the millions of Americans with infertility, as well as highlight available family building options.
Infertility is more common than you think — one in eight women between the ages of 15-44 suffer from infertility, 9 million LGBTQ individuals in the United States are without infertility coverage, and 58 percent of individuals forgo fertility treatments due to lack of coverage. Fertility issues do not discriminate based on race, religion, sexuality, or economic status. This means that you or several people you know are struggling to conceive, and may not have the coverage or access needed to build a family.
While some may only think about infertility once a year, this is a topic we discuss every day at Progyny. We are a company founded by those who have experienced infertility firsthand and know the impact — both emotionally and financially — it can have.
When we consider this year’s NIAW theme, what comes to mind is for those interested in their fertility options is to “listen up” to the increase of fertility benefits large employers are now offering.
Since 2015, companies have discovered that their employees want more than the traditional health and dental insurance plans, and have been looking for additional opportunities to support their employees with paid parental leave, adoption support, and fertility benefits. Regardless of what vertical the company is in, fertility benefits, including IVF and egg freezing, seem to be a larger part of the conversation than ever before.
According to a survey by Mercer Health and Benefits and commissioned by RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, 65 percent of employers offering fertility treatment cited they were responding to employee requests for covering fertility benefits. If you are someone who has received an infertility diagnosis or are simply interested in learning more about fertility health, our advice is to listen up to what these benefits entail and understanding the arguments for introducing these benefits within your company. Listen up to facts you can share with your human resources department about how providing fertility coverage will not only save the company money but spare their employees the heartbreak of not having options when it comes to treatment. Your company could also actually see a decrease in absenteeism and an increase in attracting top talent with the addition of these benefits. Listen up, listen carefully, present what you’ve learned, and make it necessary for your company to listen up to you!
National Infertility Awareness Week overall is an opportunity to listen up, learn more, and educate others on this life-impacting issue. If you’d like guidance on what to present to your HR Team, please click here.