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Home » Family-Forming Benefits that Consider Menopause Broaden their Appeal to Talent

Family-Forming Benefits that Consider Menopause Broaden their Appeal to Talent

by | Employee, Employer, Fertility Blog

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At a time when more women are pursuing higher education and careers, or are still trying to find the right partner, postponing childbearing has become very common, so much so that the fertility journey is increasingly intersecting with the years leading up to menopause and even menopause itself. When combined with an expanding definition of “family” that has become more inclusive and the desire for more personalized employee benefits, U.S. employers face a myriad of challenges. 

These challenges include providing female employees with access to affordable health insurance and high-quality care that not only includes a good OBGYN, but also an educational and emotionally supportive program that addresses the later reproductive years and menopause.

Amid the backdrop of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, family forming fertility benefit packages like the ones we provide are helping cast a wider net over who is able to realize the dream of starting a family. This is happening for more working mothers, regardless of financial background, sexual orientation, gender identity, background, ethnicity or other status. 

Included in that growing group are older women who may be experiencing perimenopause or menopause, whose average age is about 50, although many women go through menopause even 5 or 10 years earlier. Premature menopause can occur before age 40 and early menopause between the ages of 40 to 45. Early menopause occurs in about 5% of women, By 2025 about 1.1 billion women worldwide will have experienced menopause. 

No Longer a Deadline that Ends Fertility

While menopause technically ends fertility because it represents the loss of all the female eggs, the drop-off in the number and quality of a woman’s eggs begins around age 31, at first slowly and then increasing in rate. Extending a woman’s reproductive lifespan involves freezing one’s eggs at a younger age followed by in vitro fertilization later on when pregnancy is desired, the use of donor eggs or a surrogate.

Perceptions of menopause have changed over the years. For example, it’s no longer seen as a deadline that abruptly ends fertility. Menopause, which is diagnosed after a woman has gone 12 months without a menstrual period, is a single point in time. However, perimenopause, the time before and after menopause can last for years. During perimenopause, which marks the body’s transition to menopause, production of estrogen and progesterone varies greatly. It includes anything from hot flashes, vaginal dryness, loss of sleep, anxiety, depression and many other symptoms. It is caused by a significant drop in estrogen, a hormone produced by the ovaries, although many aspects of menopause are not well understood.

A Business Imperative

Where menopause becomes top of mind for businesses is that the record high employment participation rate for women coincides with rising healthcare costs and a tight U.S. labor market. Offering comprehensive and progressive fertility benefits whose appeal extends to an older female segment of the workforce that is grappling with reproductive issues and with menopause will help draw and retain more top talent. 

There also are benefits associated with helping women manage menopause symptoms, whose annual economic toll a 2023 Mayo Clinic study of 4,400 women aged 45-60 pegs at $26.6 billion. Included in that calculation is an estimated $1.8 billion in lost wages, with more than 10% of females reducing their work hours, losing a job or taking early retirement. 

The trouble is that there’s scant workplace support for those who are going through menopause. Employers need to take notice of a recent survey that found up to 70% of respondents considered changing jobs to better manage their symptoms. In a nutshell, there are significant competitive disadvantages to not offering meaningful family forming benefits that take into consideration career-oriented women who have put off having children, and also those who have realized their family desires.

Improving Job Satisfaction, Work-Life Balance

Business leaders will reap the benefits of a more thoughtful talent-management strategy that allows female staffers to feel confident they have the assistance they need to have the families they want. Those who are looking to attract and retain the very best employees in their industry can do their part to alleviate the stress associated with both fertility and menopause challenges. 

By offering competitive benefits that take these issues into consideration, regardless of age, gender or family situation, employers can ensure that their employees have fewer things to worry about when trying to start a family or when dealing with the end of their reproductive life. This improves job satisfaction and work-life balance, both of which will also serve to improve recruitment and retention. By taking care of workers’ family building needs and reproductive health, employers can ensure peace of mind for both themselves and their employees.

A Vision for All

Dr. Adamson, Founder & CEO, ARC Fertility, passionately concludes, “We believe that everyone — regardless of their economic or social status — deserves the opportunity to build their family, and we are here to help make this a reality.” 

With its unwavering commitment to affordability, accessibility and high-quality care, ARC Fertility is not just redefining family-forming benefits, it’s transforming lives, one family at a time. 

For more information about ARC Fertility and its mission to make family-forming benefits accessible, please visit ARC Fertility’s Website.

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