What Are Fertility Benefits (And How Do They Work)?

Fertility treatments being extremely costly can be a major barrier to family planning. Fortunately, employers can help by providing fertility benefits as part of their total compensation package. In this article, we'll explore what fertility employee benefits are, the different types of coverage offered, and how they can empower employees in building their families.

Benefits 101

Mar 22, 2024 ⋅ 5 min read

Fertility treatments being extremely costly can be a major barrier to family planning. Fortunately, fertility employee benefits are becoming increasingly common – and for good reason. In this article, we'll explore what fertility employee benefits are, the different types of coverage offered, and how they can empower employees in building their families.

What are fertility employee benefits?

Fertility employee benefits are part of the benefits package a company offers its employees to help with family planning and overcoming fertility. These programs assist employees in navigating the family planning process, including fertility checks, IVF, adoption, and freezing eggs or sperm. 

The implementation of fertility benefits in the workplace occurred due to these trending factors.

Changing demographics

In 2020, Forbes reported that many millennial women were putting off having children because of their careers. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a significant increase in interest in egg-freezing procedures at fertility clinics, as reported by the BBC. This shift means a greater need for fertility support as age can impact fertility.

Competition for talent

In today's job market, companies are looking for ways to attract and retain top talent. Fertility benefits can be a valuable perk for employees who are planning families.

Also, offering egg freezing as part of a company's benefits package, is a perk that's become increasingly popular among startups as a means of attracting women employees. For example, Bain, a UK financial provider, offers employees fertility treatments, menopause support, cancer detection, help for health problems, and family-forming support including surrogacy and adoption.

Increased awareness of infertility

Infertility is more openly discussed now, and it's recognised as a medical condition affecting millions. This has led to demand for better access to treatment in the workplace. According to the World Health Organization, infertility affects 1 in 6 adults globally. Chances are, some of your employees face fertility struggles. Employers who provide coverage for treatment and services help employees navigate fertility journeys alongside employment, which overall leads to an engaged workforce. 

Fertility benefits employees want covered

It is important to offer a wide range of fertility treatments to your employees, this promotes inclusivity. Here are some of the common fertility benefits employees want covered:


IVF, or in vitro fertilisation, is one of most common assisted reproductive technologies (ART) used to help people conceive. This fertility treatment has led to the birth of 10 million babies since its inception in 1978. During this process, mature eggs are collected from the ovaries and fertilised by the sperm in a laboratory. The resulting embryos are then placed in the uterus where they are developed into a pregnancy. Most fertility plans cover IVF treatments.

Fertility checks/diagnostic testing

These are tests and assessments aimed at identifying roadblocks to conception, such as hormone levels, ovulation patterns or sperm quality. Diagnostic testing involves the use of pelvic ultrasounds, hormone tests, or a hysterosalpingogram, otherwise known as HSG. Without fertility testing, an individual may waste time and resources by putting themselves through treatments that wouldn't work. Under some fertility clinics, they offer a comprehensive fertility evaluation which determines the cause of the infertility and based on that diagnosis, arrange a personalised treatment plan for the individual.

Egg or sperm freezing

Employees may opt for egg or sperm freezing for their fertility treatment based on medical or non-medical reasons. Based on medical reasons, some treatments such as cancer treatments may damage a person's fertility. Egg freezing may allow them to preserve their eggs before undergoing such treatments. Employees are also presented with options like the opportunity to preserve their fertility while pursuing their careers. This empowers them and gives them control over their reproductive timeline. This treatment allows individuals to preserve their reproductive cells for future use. Employees may also be offered coverage for the procedure itself as well as storage fees.

Intrauterine insemination

This is similar to IVF except that it is less expensive and invasive, and the procedure involves placing specially prepared sperm directly into the uterus. It requires going through successful cycles for success. According to Planned Parenthood, the cost of IUI varies depending on what type of insurance coverage an employee has, and how much the doctor's fees are.

Mental health resources

From diagnosis to receiving treatment, infertility is often accompanied with feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, grief and isolation. The constant pressure to conceive and the emotional rollercoaster of treatments can be overwhelming. Mental health resources like Employees Assistance Programs (EAPs) which encompasses counselling, therapy and support groups, ensures employees have access to emotional support throughout their fertility journey. 

Why should employers offer assisted reproduction benefits?

A recent survey found that more than half (55%) of employees struggling with fertility problems or going through fertility treatment are not getting the support they need from their employers. Including fertility treatments in your health plan offerings empowers your employees and shows that you are an inclusive employer and that you care about their well-being. 

Fertility treatments can be very expensive. By having robust fertility benefits in place, employees can save on health care costs and access the treatment they need. This impacts their overall productivity and helps them contribute meaningfully to their organisation. 

They also play a crucial role in an organisation's DEIB strategy. Infertility doesn't just affect women only; men and minority groups such as the LGBTQIA+ community are also significantly affected. An LGBTQIA+ individual may pursue parenthood through various methods, such as donor conception, adoption and surrogacy. Offering a comprehensive fertility benefit of family planning program ensures that all employees receive treatment, regardless of their race, background, gender or any other unique identifiers. This contributes to an inclusive workplace. 

How can employers can make fertility benefits accessible to all

Employers can make fertility benefits accessible to all employees by implementing the following strategies.

Inclusive Coverage

Ensure that fertility benefits extend to all employees regardless of gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or family structure. This includes covering fertility treatments for same-sex couples, single individuals, and those pursuing alternative family-building methods.

Communicate Effectively

Clearly communicate the availability and details of fertility benefits to all employees through various channels, such as employee handbooks, company intranet, and informational sessions. Make sure employees understand what is covered, how to access benefits, and any eligibility criteria.

Affordable Options

Offer affordable or subsidised fertility benefits to reduce financial barriers. This can include covering a portion of treatment costs, providing flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs) for fertility-related expenses, or negotiating discounted rates with fertility clinics.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

Include fertility support services within existing EAPs to provide confidential counselling, resources, and guidance to employees navigating fertility challenges. This ensures that employees have access to emotional support regardless of their ability to access fertility treatments.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Offer flexible work arrangements, such as remote work options, flexible scheduling, and extended leave policies, to accommodate employees undergoing fertility treatments or appointments. This allows employees to prioritise their health and family-building efforts without sacrificing their career.

Want to learn more about the assisted reproduction benefits available to your team? 

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