Family-friendly workplaces and a family-friendly society are goals for a healthy community. While many consider an on-site day care or family leave policies to be the epitome of a family-friendly workplace, others believe fertility benefits are the best place to start.
Infertility is a Disease
Many of your top recruits and employees dream of having a family someday, even before they consider a partner. In fact, many assume that having a baby the old-fashioned way is a natural birthright. After all, we are made to be sexual beings so anyone can get pregnant, right? Wrong.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), infertility is a disease of the reproductive system defined by failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.
For an estimated 8 million couples in the US today, infertility is their reality. Getting pregnant is difficult, if not seemingly impossible. Whether from a woman’s irregular menstrual cycles, a man’s reduced sperm count, or a host of unknown reasons, infertility is a fact of life and a vastly growing concern.
Women are Delaying Childbirth
The maximum female fertility occurs in the mid-twenties when menstrual cycles are the most regular and ovulatory. Also, fertility is slightly decreased before age 20 and after age 30. Women over age 37 are much less fertile.
However, there is a growing trend that greatly increases the chance of infertility: women are delaying childbearing. The age factor alone is of paramount importance. Also with aging, there’s a greater risk of developing endometriosis or progression of other gynecological disorders.
1 in 8 Americans are Infertile
With one-in-eight Americans affected with infertility today, it makes sense to offer fertility benefits for those employees—men and women–who want to start a family now or in the future, including:
- Employees who are LGBT
- Single women and/or men
- Women and/or men who experience infertility
- Women who need to delay childbearing to pursue career
- Women with cancer who want to preserve fertility
Record-High Demand for Fertility Treatments
Since the 2008 world financial crisis, demand for in vitro fertilization (IVF) services has hit record highs each year, with annual cycle volume growth accelerating four out of the last five years. According to FertilityIQ.com, 2020 cycle volumes should eclipse 400,000 procedures, effectively tripling volumes since the economic downturn.
Today, employers from all market segments — telecom, retail, tech, professional services and public sector — are interested in providing family-friendly fertility benefits to their workforce. In fact, about 68 percent of large employers offer some type of reproductive assistance as part of their health insurance plan. These fertility benefits may include:
- Evaluation by a fertility specialist
- 24/7 access to an experienced Nurse Care Manager
- Fertility drugs and bundled therapies
- IUI and/or IVF procedures
- Surrogacy and adoption
Fertility Benefits Impact Talent Retention
Fertility benefits indicate a powerful impact on talent retention, especially among millennials today who begin careers during their peak child-rearing years. In fact, recruiting and retaining employees was the reason that one-third of employers said they boosted their benefit packages this year, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s newly released annual benefits survey. 
Fertility benefits are an effective way to send a family-friendly signal to employees and prospective employees, especially if coupled with generous parental leave and flexible work offerings for parents. In fact, more and more, workers are demanding perks that help improve their work-life balance, including starting a family.
 Sexual and Reproductive Health. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/infertility/definitions/en/. [Accessed June 7, 2017].
 2016 Best Companies to work for as a fertility patient. FertilityIQ.com: https://www.fertilityiq.com/cost/2016-best-companies-to-work-for-as-a-fertility-patient-corporate-fertility-benefits-rankings. [Accessed July 26, 2017].
 Employers Alter Benefits to Attract, Retain Employees, SHRM finds. Society for Human Resource Management, November 16, 2016. https://www.shrm.org/ resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/alter-benefits-attract-retain.aspx. [Accessed July 9, 2-17].