See if you qualify for free egg freezing.
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As more women prioritize their careers and delay starting a family, egg freezing has become an increasingly popular option. In fact, in 2021 there were nearly 25,000 egg freezing cycles in the United States, up 46% from the previous year. 

For those with a full-time job who are considering freezing their eggs, it may bring up the question: Should I tell my boss? In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of disclosing your decision to your employer, and provide tips for navigating the conversation.

Talking to your boss about freezing your eggs

The decision to freeze your eggs is a personal one, but it can have professional implications. If you are considering starting the egg freezing process, it's important to think about how it might affect your work schedule and commitments. If you need to shift your schedule for appointments, or if the egg retrieval itself requires time off, it's best to let your boss know ahead of time. But you don’t have to be specific about the egg freezing part if you’re not comfortable doing so. Saying you have a medical procedure coming up that requires XYZ days off

When approaching the conversation, it's important to be clear and concise. If you want to share the specifics, that’s fine. But you don’t have to. Be prepared to answer questions, and provide information about the process if your boss is unfamiliar with it. It may also be helpful to let them know that you are committed to fulfilling your work obligations and that you will do everything in your power to minimize any disruptions.

Use this email template to get time off for egg freezing 

Here’s a template you can use if you are NOT sharing the specific procedure:

Hi [Boss’s Name],

I am writing to request time off work for a medical procedure next month. I have a few pre-appointments that will also shift my work time on [Date / Time], [Date / Time], and [Date / Time]. I will update my calendar accordingly. 

The procedure is scheduled to take place on [Date], and I will need to be absent from work on [Date(s)].

I will do my best to ensure that all necessary tasks are completed before I leave, and I will also arrange for colleagues to take over my responsibilities during my absence. Thank you for your understanding and support during this time. Please let me know if there are any questions or concerns that you may have.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Here’s a template you can use if you are mentioning egg freezing:

Hi [Boss's Name],

I hope you're doing well! As you may know, I've been considering freezing my eggs as a way to preserve my fertility options in the future. I've decided to move forward with the process and wanted to give you a heads up that I'll need some time off for appointments.

I'm planning on scheduling the appointments for [Date] and [Date] mornings, starting next week and continuing for the next few weeks. I'll do my best to schedule them as early as possible to minimize the impact on my work schedule. The egg retrieval is scheduled to take place on [Date], and I will need to be absent from work on [Date(s)].

I'll make sure to communicate with my team to ensure that everything runs smoothly in my absence. I appreciate your understanding and support as I go through this process. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you,

[Your Name]

Can I freeze my eggs if I have a full-time job?

Absolutely! Most of the people who freeze their eggs with Cofertility have full-time jobs or are in graduate school. It does require some time and effort, such as attending appointments for ultrasounds and blood work during the egg freezing cycle. However, many clinics offer early morning, evening, and weekend appointments to accommodate busy schedules. 

We’ve found that most employers are supportive of their employees' decisions to prioritize their reproductive health and may even offer benefits that cover some or all of the costs associated with egg freezing. So don't let your job hold you back from exploring this option if it's something you're considering.

Asking about fertility benefits

Some employers offer fertility benefits as part of their healthcare packages, which can include coverage for egg freezing. If your company offers these benefits, it may be worth exploring whether you are eligible, and what the process entails. The first step is to check your employee benefits package, or speak with your HR representative or benefits coordinator to get more information.

If you are part of the majority of Americans who do not have an egg freezing benefit through your employer, there are other options. At Cofertility, we support our members with all the nitty-gritty details of egg freezing – like finding the best clinic, financing the journey, getting discounts on medications, and more. We offer two egg freezing programs:

  • In our Split program, you can freeze and store your eggs for up to 10 years for free when you donate the other half of the eggs retrieved to a family who can’t conceive otherwise.
  • In our Keep program, you freeze and store your eggs for your own future use, with lower prices on things like storage, as well as access to our community.

Our team is here for you every step of the way, and our online community connects you with others starting their egg freezing cycles at the same time for peer support.

What to do if your boss isn’t supportive

Unfortunately, not all employers are supportive of their employees' decisions to freeze their eggs. Some may be awkward when discussing reproductive health, while others may not give you the flexibility. If your boss is not supportive, it can be a difficult situation to navigate.

First, it's important to remember that you have the right to make decisions about your own reproductive health. If your boss is not supportive, you may want to consider speaking with someone in HR or a higher-up in the company. They may be able to provide more information about the company's policies, or offer support and guidance.

If you feel uncomfortable discussing your decision with your boss, you may also want to seek out support from friends or family members. Having a strong support system can make a big difference during this time.

Can FMLA be used for egg freezing?

Unfortunately no. FMLA is a federal law that allows eligible employees to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for certain medical and family reasons, such as the birth or adoption of a child, caring for a seriously ill family member, or a personal serious health condition. Currently, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not cover egg freezing as a qualifying reason for taking leave. 

However, some employers may offer their own fertility or medical leave policies that could potentially cover egg freezing. Check with your employer's HR department or benefits office to find out what leave options are available to you. The good news is that you shouldn’t need more than a few days.

The bottom line

Freezing your eggs can be an exciting decision, but deciding whether to tell your boss can add an extra layer of stress. While it's ultimately up to you whether you choose to disclose your decision, it's important to be prepared for the conversation. By being clear, concise, and respectful, you can help ensure that your boss understands your decision, and that you are committed to fulfilling your work obligations. 

Cofertility is in the “family” business, striving to make egg freezing and third-party reproduction more human-centered and accessible for all. Our Freeze by Co program allows you to freeze your eggs for free, when you give half to a family who can't otherwise conceive.

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