A quick summary:
- Is male fertility less of a concern?
- How men can have a "biological clock" too
- Why you should consider male fertility as part of your employee benefits
- What you can do to raise awareness and support your employees
By Tobias Boecker, Co-Founder at Mojo
Ah, fertility talk, it's like that one lingering guest at a party nobody wants to acknowledge. Yet it's a crucial piece in the puzzle of employee well-being. Now more than ever, HR departments need to step up and acknowledge an often sidestepped concern—male fertility.
Male fertility tends to linger in the background, overshadowed by more conventional workplace wellness topics. However, it plays a vital role in family planning and overall employee satisfaction. It's not just about making babies; it's about creating a workplace that truly cares for its people.
So let's explore why employers should make male fertility a focus in their wellness programs and benefits packages.
Shedding Light on the Stigma
Fertility issues have long been associated with women. But recent studies have flipped that notion on its head. In fact, research shows that 30-50% of fertility challenges result from male factors.
Another study published in the journal Human Reproduction Update in 2017 waved a red flag, showing that sperm counts have been free-falling in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, dropping by half in less than 40 years.
It all goes to show that this is a significant societal issue that often goes unnoticed, even within the medical community. It's essential to recognize that male fertility is not just a personal concern; it impacts society at large.
The Ticking Clock for All
Whether male or female, many employees decide to have children later in life and focus on their careers first. We've all heard about the proverbial 'biological clock' that ticks for women. However, people are unaware that male fertility also declines with age.
As the candles on the birthday cake increase, men's swimmers lose their vigour, leading to longer time-to-pregnancy, a higher risk of miscarriages and increased chances of genetic abnormalities in offspring.
It goes to show that fertility affects both men and women and so catering for only one half is not the best way to support the wellbeing of your workforce.
In a world where socioeconomic disparities persist, employers can also play a role in levelling the playing field.
Navigating the Fertility Maze
When it comes to tackling fertility woes, it's essential to play the long game. Jumping straight to invasive and costly procedures, such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF), without understanding the root cause can make the whole process a rollercoaster ride of emotional and financial stress for employees.
Encouraging early testing and access to treatment options, like sperm testing with Heka’s partner Mojo, can alleviate these burdens while increasing the chances of successful family planning.
Final Countdown to Inclusivity
So, what can you do?
First of all, it's crucial to educate employees about the impact of age on male fertility, ensuring they make informed family planning decisions.
Expanding access to fertility services through employer benefits can make these services available to a more diverse range of employees, irrespective of their financial circumstances.
Ultimately, a holistic approach that encompasses both male and female factors offers a more comprehensive and cost-effective path to addressing fertility challenges, benefitting employees and aligning with a commitment to equity and inclusivity.
If you and your team are already using Heka as your employee benefits solution, you can encourage employees to check out Mojo, who specialise in male fertility.