One of the most difficult decisions weighing on many people of working age is the question of whether or not to start a family. And while employers should never get in the way of this deeply personal decision, they can still help by giving employees access to resources to support them.
In this article, we’ll be covering the many reasons why employers should provide fertility benefits, why they should expand these benefits to include fertility tracking, and how employers themselves can benefit from these policies in the long term.
Why should employers provide fertility benefits?
Maintaining a reliable pool of top talent is a key priority for companies worldwide. By providing access to fertility benefits, companies are better poised to attract and retain quality employees – all whilst strengthening any promises to promote diversity and inclusion.
Winning the war for talent
Researchers call it the “war for talent”, and it’s a real phenomenon affecting organizations in the United States and across the world.
The root of the problem comes down to changing demographics and increased competition. For example, as birthrates decrease, the supply of available workers (i.e. future top-level executives) has subsequently decreased. To make matters even more challenging, as global markets and technology become more complex, this creates the need for workers to be more knowledgeable and skilled than ever before.
So in order to cultivate an attractive environment for skilled employees, companies are ramping up benefits and offering innovative perks to get that extra edge over competitors.
Why fertility support pays off
One of the hottest perks in recent years is compensation for fertility support and treatments. This includes anything from in vitro fertilization (IVF) and egg freezing to acquiring sperm samples. In some cases, companies will even cover the costs of surrogacy.
This may seem expensive at first glance, but research suggests that fertility benefits pay off in the long run. In fact, FertilityIQ’s 2019-202 Family Building Workplace Index found the following:
- 73% of employees who received the fertility coverage said they were more grateful and 53% stayed longer.
- 88% of women who had their IVF fully paid for by their employer in 2017 returned back to that employer after their maternity leave.
In another survey conducted by fertility care platform Carrot, 77% of Millennial and Generation Z respondents indicated that they would stay at a company if it offered fertility benefits.
For more information on why companies should offer fertility benefits, check out Carrot’s recent article: Why fertility benefits should be on every employer’s 2023 list.
Fertility tracking as a corporate benefit
When it comes to offering fertility support as an employee benefit, the most commonly covered treatments include egg freezing, intrauterine insemination (IUI), and in vitro fertilization (IVF).
There is another option, though, that works with or without treatments – and it’s called fertility tracking. Though often overlooked, fertility tracking is an excellent solution to help employees meet their fertility goals.
Fertility tracking: what is it?
Fertility tracking (also commonly referred to as fertility awareness) is the process of actively staying in tune with the menstrual cycle in order to plan or avoid pregnancy. This is accomplished through regular monitoring and tracking of certain biological symptoms – such as basal body temperature (BBT), cervical mucus, and key fertility hormones.
Common fertility tracking methods and associated costs
There are a number of different ways to track fertility, and each method comes with its own set of pros and cons in terms of costs, accuracy, and convenience. Here is a brief list of methods.
|Calendar Method||Involves using a fertility calculator or formula to estimate fertile days.|
|Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Method||Involves measuring BBT each morning in order to estimate ovulation and fertile days.|
|Billings Ovulation Method||Involves tracking the feeling of cervical mucus throughout each cycle. Individuals are typically guided by a certified tutor.|
|Creighton Method||Involves tracking the consistency of cervical mucus throughout each cycle. Individuals are typically guided by a certified instructor.|
|Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs)||Involves testing and tracking luteinizing hormone (LH) in urine to predict fertility.|
|Hormone monitoring||Involves testing and tracking a range of fertility hormones in urine in order to estimate fertile days and confirm ovulation.|
As you can see, there are many different methods to choose from.
Benefits of fertility tracking for employers and employees
With the help of fertility tracking tools, pregnancy goals can oftentimes be achieved without even having to step foot inside a fertility clinic.
From the employee’s perspective, these tools help them feel empowered to make good lifestyle choices in order to maximize their chances of getting pregnant. Individuals are also likely to feel more aware and in control of their fertility, and they will be able to determine when further help from a fertility specialist is needed.
From the employer’s perspective, giving access to fertility tracking tools at the start of an individual’s fertility journey may help to reduce healthcare costs down the line. For example, individuals with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who are struggling to get pregnant may find success with a PCOS-friendly fertility tracking tool like Mira. This ultimately prevents the need to turn to IVF in the future, helping to save money in the long run.
Which Mira products are covered?
Mira products that Carrot members can access include the Mira Max Starter Kit and the Mira Max Test Wands that track 3 key fertility hormones: LH, E3G, PdG – to predict and confirm ovulation and fertile window with a lab-grade accuracy.
At Mira, we want you to write your own fertility journey. For further information about fertility tracking with us, visit our page How Mira Works. We also invite you to check out our free blog articles, webinars, and ebooks to learn more about fertility, family planning, and getting pregnant.