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Facebook and Apple will pay for female employees to freeze their eggs!
The reason? Well, a woman's fertility peaks in her 20s, according to WebMD, and typically starts to decline more quickly at around age 31. After that? Every woman is different, but according to the laws of nature, her chances of conceiving naturally decrease with each cycle.
Oftentimes, though, a woman in her 30s and early 40s is at a point where her career is just beginning to flourish. She's faced with a choice: Postpone motherhood until later in life (and risk not being able to get pregnant later in life) or take maternity leave from her job (and risk setting back her career).
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Two major corporations don't want female employees to have to choose. That's why Facebook recently began covering egg freezing, and Apple will begin doing so in January, spokespeople for the companies told NBC News.
“Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do,” said Brigitte Adams, an egg-freezing advocate and founder of the patient forum Eggsurance.com. “By offering this benefit, companies are investing in women…and supporting them in carving out the lives they want.”
Freezing one's eggs doesn't come cheap though. Per Eggsurance.com, the costs, similar to those for IVF, is approximately $ 8,000 to $ 12,000 for each round of egg freezing, plus at least $ 500 for annual storage.
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Facebook and Apple will cover costs (up to $ 20,000), under slightly different terms. Per NBC News, Apple covers costs under its fertility benefit, and Facebook covers costs as a surrogacy benefit.
Advocates for egg freezing say this is important to “leveling the playing field” between men and women in the workplace. Bloomberg Magazine asked earlier this year if “freezing your eggs [will] free your career,” with Emma Rosenblum writing, “Not since the birth control pill has a medical technology had such potential to change family and career planning.”
(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)
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