As infertility impacts 1 in 6 people worldwide, labor organizations that have rolled out high-quality family building benefits have some great news – this care may be addressing more than meets the eye.
Here’s how infertility may be playing an extended role in the health and well-being of your members (and how these benefits can help):
Emotional and mental well-being
Struggling with infertility is an emotional experience that can have a direct impact on a member’s mental health, increasing the likelihood of depression, anxiety, and low self-confidence. This impact is felt by all genders, however, more than half of women experiencing infertility also deal with some form of depression.
Absenteeism and presenteeism
These issues can, in turn, lead to a greater likelihood of work absences or presenteeism (lost productivity from members who are not fully functioning in the workplace because they’re dealing with illness or injury).
Research shows that half of women say experiencing infertility rated it as the “most stressful experience of their life.” 93% of women in a Fertility Matters at Work survey said their career had been impacted by infertility, with 68% saying the experience had a significant impact on their emotional well-being.
And a literature review of 38 studies showed that depression and anxiety are directly associated with an increase in lost productivity from absenteeism and presenteeism. This represents an opportunity for family building benefits that account for mental health to play a role in addressing or mitigating these issues for labor members who are on these health journeys.
In addition to addressing stressful fertility issues, members in this stage of life may be dealing with comorbid conditions that can have a direct impact in the workplace.
Women undergoing fertility treatment who also experience endometriosis, for instance, have had a negative effect on their careers that “sometimes meant a voluntary career change, dismissal, or simply a slower progression than their colleagues.” Infertility is also associated with a greater risk of diabetes, renal disease, liver issues, and cerebrovascular disease.
How family building benefits can address these risks
Beyond facilitating treatment and care for these conditions, employing comprehensive family building benefits can help members on these journeys with a holistic approach.
Fertility benefits that offer advocate navigation support and extended, pregnancy, postpartum, and specialized care can better equip members to address root-cause issues for underlying conditions and provide emotional support to reduce stress and risk for developing associated depression or anxiety.
This type of care can also enable early intervention for high-risk pregnancies that can result in pregnancy complications, pre-term births, and costly NICU stays, further reducing stress on the patient and resulting in healthier birth outcomes.
A comprehensive family building and women’s health benefit can do much more than address infertility. Done right, it can play a role in healthier, more productive members who meet their fertility with minimal impact on their careers.
Interested in learning more about a fully supported fertility experience for your members? Contact Stacey Hofert (Stacey.Hofert@progyny.com | 847-372-9959) or Ron Abrahall, RN (Ronald.Abrahall@progyny.com 631-294-2012). You can also book a demo at progyny.com.
Ron Abrahall has held both elected and appointed union positions since 1982. He has served as a representative for the New York State Nurses Association, a former president of USW 9544, past President of BMFNHP AFT/ NYSUT, NYPD officer and a Neuro-Surgical Intensive Care RN.