Babble Health

Male factor infertility: what employers should know about support

As an employer, you know that you have to, by law, keep your employees safe and supported at work. This includes offering support for mental health problems as well as physical health problems.

Many companies now are taking a step further, and adding fertility cover to health insurance plans for employees

This is an excellent leap forward, but the temptation can be to think about infertility as a female issue.  Male factor infertility is more common than most think – with around 30-50% of infertility in different sex couples being down to male factors.

So in order to be a true forward thinking business, is it time to reconsider how you think about your fertility health offerings? Here’s our ideas that can help.

Education is key

This can be two-fold, with education around both the high incidence of male factor infertility, and around the importance of looking after our fertility. Normalising the conversation around male infertility will help anyone struggling feel like they’re not alone, and may encourage them to seek help. Avoiding a toxic, competitive work environment where typically masculine jokes and banter are commonplace will help. In terms of looking after fertility, awareness campaigns focussing on education will be beneficial. Many people are unaware that lifestyle factors such as alcohol consumption, smoking, obesity, chronic disease and the use of testosterone supplements can all have a detrimental effect on fertility.

Add specific male factor infertility cover to your healthcare plans

This will help men know where to go in order to seek help and take action with the right healthcare provider, at the same time as removing some of the stigma and mystery surrounding fertility help.

Include sperm testing and freezing services in your healthcare plans

As well as offering help and advice on assisted fertility in cases of male employees with fertility problems, sperm testing and freezing cover is also a good idea. Sperm testing will give men a good idea of the health of their sperm, and allow them to make lifestyle changes if necessary. It can also avoid unnecessary treatments for female partners if they know the issue may be in sperm quality. Sperm freezing should also be an option, just like egg freezing, and can be used as an insurance policy for the future if an employee has been given a cancer diagnosis or if they’re embarking on gender reassignment treatment or surgery.

Be inclusive

Adding specialists that can support transgender employees on their way to parenthood is also essential. This also means providing support and care for employees looking to go down surrogacy or adoption routes.

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