Causes & Treatment

Infertility at work – how to talk to your employer

Laurel Fertility Care  |  21 Oct 2022


Infertility impacts 1 in 8 people. These numbers alone make infertility at work a critical issue, and one that as a society, we have trouble addressing.

Many employees go through the journey of infertility treatment silently in the workplace but having the tools and the confidence to speak to your employer can have a huge benefit. For employers, providing an open and understanding environment for those dealing with infertility at work can have a substantial effect on the productivity and mental health of employees.

In this article, Laurel Fertility Care fertility specialists answer the question: How can employees struggling with infertility navigate work schedules and employers’ lack of fertility support? They also suggest, on the other hand, how employers can address the taboo surrounding pregnancy and fertility issues and begin to take steps towards providing support.

Infertility at work – the questions to ask

While you don’t alway have to go into details, explaining your situation to an employer can be stress-relieving for you and helpful to others in the future who might also be managing infertility at work.

If you’re at the beginning stages of your journey and have questions about treatment coverage through your benefits package, here are some questions to ask your employer or HR team:

  • Do they offer fertility treatment coverage?
  • If infertility is covered by insurance, does it cover IVF treatment costs?
  • What are the limitations?
  • Is there an annual or lifetime maximum?
  • Is genetic testing included?
  • Do they offer support groups?

Talking to HR about your dilemma or simply saying, “I have a medical situation,” can help. Some patients recommend putting this in writing to either your HR department, your boss or both. Explaining that medical appointments might cause you to arrive late at times and ensuring that you will do your best to make sure treatment does not interfere with your work can be enough information to help everyone involved be more understanding.

For employers, fostering a supportive and inclusive workplace starts with open communication. Support your employees by being flexible with work commitments and aiming to keep the line of communication open. Keep in mind that flexibility or accommodation of the medical needs of your employees can make a world of difference, especially for those navigating infertility at work. It can be incredibly beneficial for company morale as well as employee retention. 

Advice for Employers

Educate employees on the benefits that your organization provides – this could be anything from informing employees about an infertility at work policy, letting them know that infertility treatment is covered by insurance, or if there are support groups available. Ensuring that the employee has the access they need to your overall benefits package will assist them during the treatment process.

Here’s some advice on creating a culture that supports all of your employees’ needs:

  • Acknowledge that when your employees come to work, they aren’t necessarily leaving “home” behind. If employees don’t feel that they have support, they will be reluctant to disclose their personal family plans.
  • Recognize that infertility should be discussed openly. Normalizing the conversation around it can be an important step in moving out of the silence.
  • If you’re in a position to influence workplace policies, suggest creating benefits such as time off pre-conception, counselling, and financial support for infertility covered by insurance to help employees navigate major challenges during treatment.

About Laurel Fertility Care

Laurel Fertility Care offers a supportive and knowledgeable team of fertility specialists to guide you when youre ready to pursue your desire for a family.  The decision to start a family is life-changing, full of anticipation and dreams.  As the premier boutique clinic in the Bay Area, we are dedicated to helping your family grow, offering a personalized care approach full of hope! Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable fertility specialists.

To learn more about how Laurel Fertility Care can help you along your fertility journey, you can visit their website here. 

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