Anyone who has been through fertility treatments knows that it’s a lot of hurry-up-and-wait. Hurry up: Make the appointment, contact your provider, pay that bill, and order the medication. Wait: Your body isn’t ready, you ovulated too early, I’m sorry there’s no heartbeat, and it’s still not your turn. 

I recently had a friend vent to me about the stress she was feeling around starting to try to get pregnant. I thought to myself, “Do I tell her?” but ultimately decided against it. In my experience, whether it was an embryo transfer that didn’t “stick” or a miscarriage the week before my brother-in-law’s wedding, when it comes to growing our family, our best-laid plans have rarely worked out. 

Nor did my twin pregnancy, giving birth to two humans, or trying for a third baby. So why should this time be any different? 

After a biochemical pregnancy, three failed transfers, and a miscarriage, my husband and I took a year and a half off from IVF. We had gone through too much heartbreak and uncertainty to continue — especially with two rowdy five-year-olds at home. But after a long break filled with lots of healing, we recently decided to try one last time.

We were lucky enough to have fertility coverage through my husband’s company for the egg retrieval. Still, on the same day we were told the good news that the cycle had resulted in several healthy embryos, my husband lost his job — entirely unexpectedly and at a vulnerable time for our family. 

Now, we have approximately three months to (hopefully) get pregnant before we potentially lose our benefits. However, when it comes to IVF, the timeline isn’t always straightforward, and we don’t have the best track record. 

A few things about my husband: He is the most selfless, caring partner I could have ever imagined; he’s a present, energetic, and fun dad to our children, and he has gracefully leaned even more into parenting during this unforeseen hiatus from work. He is the hardest-working guy I know and rarely takes a sick day. As far as his interests outside of work and family go, he loves country music, being outdoors, and football. He's been in the media industry for almost 15 years, with a focus on finance (revenue and expense FP&A), but he's open to new and exciting opportunities. And he wholeheartedly supports me in my role as the co-founder of a women’s health media platform.

Alas, none of that really helps us when it comes to fertility coverage. 

If my husband were unable to find a new job with fertility benefits after months (or years, God forbid), my company, Rescripted, would make it work for us. However, as a startup right at profitability, would providing benefits be the best thing for our bottom line? Not necessarily. 

I wholeheartedly believe having a family should be a fundamental right in America, even if it means tapping science for a little bit of help. After all, infertility is a disease that affects 1 in 6 heterosexual couples in the United States, and 7.3% of Americans identify as LGBTQ+, requiring science to build their families. Still, despite a widespread need for fertility services, fertility treatments are inaccessible to many due to their often exorbitant cost. 

But there are many arguments for why companies should begin offering fertility benefits to their employees. 

42% of adults say they have used fertility treatments or personally know someone who has, and according to FertilityIQ, 52% of women and 63% of men said they would leave their current employer for a job that offered fertility benefits. It makes total sense: Even if you love your job, if it doesn’t afford you the opportunity to grow your family in the way you have always envisioned, then what’s the point? 

Fertility benefits can also greatly contribute to diversity and inclusion efforts within organizations. For instance, a study by the Human Rights Campaign found that 92% of LGBTQ+ employees considered family-building benefits important when evaluating potential employers.

Further, according to a report by FertilityIQ, 70% of employers offering fertility benefits reported a positive ROI, with benefits including improved employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity.

Be the expert in you.

Take the Quiz

When the mental toll of getting diagnosed with infertility is likened to being told you have cancer, this disease state is stressful enough without having to worry about spending tens of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket on fertility treatments for a chance at having a baby.

Because if you’ve been through IVF, you know it’s not a guarantee.

I know my husband and I are more privileged than most to have had fertility coverage for the first part of our IVF cycle — the cost of which typically ranges from around $15,000 to $20,000. But knowing this is our last shot at achieving our dream of having a third child, the added burden of having to pay for one or more embryo transfers certainly doesn’t help our odds. It’s also definitely not in the budget now that we’re living on one income. 

We are not alone: This is the kind of financial stress affecting so many navigating an alternative path to family-building, and it simply shouldn’t be this way. That’s why Rescripted and CCRM Fertility have teamed up to create a much-needed tool to help people everywhere search for jobs that offer generous fertility benefits. Because everyone deserves to have the family of their dreams.

Kristyn Hodgdon is the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Rescripted.