Is Your Career Hurting Your Fertility?

There's a significant relationship between family planning and career building.
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
Apr 2016
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Some jobs offer better perks than others: unlimited vacation, paid parental leave, a fully-stocked snack cabinet. But have you ever considered asking your HR department if fertility treatments are included in your employee benefits? That subsidy alone is enough to recruit talent, as revealed by the Reproductive Medical Associates of New Jersey’s (RMANJ) Infertility in America 2016 Report.

Specifically, of the 1,000 US adults (ages 18-40) last month, 60 percent said they were willing to make a career change in order to receive better fertility benefits. Only 26 percent of those surveyed work for companies with insurance plans that include services like infertility treatment or egg freezing.

Major companies like Apple and Facebook understand that attracting millennial talent depends on family-friendly benefits, even if having a family isn’t quite yet on the radar of it’s employees. Both of these companies offer up to $20,000 for women to freeze their eggs, making family planning less of a concern as women climb the corporate ladder.

A separate study of 1,000 women from FertilityIQ found that both a woman’s paygrade and her field can influence the success of infertility treatments. Those with an annual household income above $100,000 were twice as likely to undergo successful IVF treatments, likely because of their ability to pay out of pocket for multiple rounds (the average IVF cycle has only a 30 percent chance of success). But even with salary accounted for, certain professions proved better for baby making than others. Teachers are nearly six times more likely to have IVF success than other women, a success rate researchers attribute to supportive coworkers and summer breaks.

“Teachers tell us they feel their work environment puts them in a unique position to succeed: colleagues are happy to talk openly about their fertility experiences, are able to offer suggestions for better doctors and teachers can use the summer months to undergo multiple cycles of treatment,” the study says.

On the other hand, female bankers and engineers averaged 60 percent lower IVF success rates, indicating their schedules and relationships with colleagues made it difficult to discretely take the time for necessary doctor appointments. As National Infertility Awareness Week continues to spark conversation, hopefully this feeling for needing discretion will matter less and less.

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