One in six couples in the UK faces fertility challenges, which equates to approximately 3.5 million people. One in four women will experience a miscarriage while trying to conceive and 40% of all fertility problems are due to male factor infertility.
These statistics tell us that there will be a significant proportion of employees in business who are going through a personal fertility journey. Our survey has uncovered the extent of the challenges these people experience, and how they impact working life. There are some good bits of news but on the whole, there is still a lot of work to be done.
Sadly, it seems that the mental health impact of infertility has not improved. In 2019, Fertility Network UK revealed that 90% of people experiencing fertility challenges will feel some degree of depression. The numbers this year are very similar, with 9 out of 10 people stating they felt one or more of the following: depression, anxiety and stress.
The impact of fertility struggles on working life remains worryingly high. 72% rate the impact as “high” or “very high” and 38% have seriously considered leaving their job specifically because of their personal journey.
There has, however, been a gradual increase in understanding on the employer side. We’ve seen many more business come forward in the past twelve months, announcing that they have introduced a new fertility policy or some level of workplace support. As awareness and uptake grows, we would expect to see clear improvements in these results.