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How to care for fertility through the decades

How to care for fertility through the decades

. 4 min read

Fertility health is paramount regardless of an employee’s gender, orientation, family goals, or career status, fertility is a crucial aspect of overall health and wellness, and its decline can be associated with underlying physical and mental health risks.

Maintaining reproductive health goes beyond planning for the future and keeping every door open — enabling us to live our fullest lives. Yet many people are unaware of certain fertility options. For example, many don’t know egg and sperm freezing is an option for delaying parenthood.

Stork Club is committed to educating employers and employees about the benefits of family-building solutions, including egg freezing and infertility therapy. These options are pivotal and can become relevant as early as your twenties when many people enter the workforce for the first time.

Nurturing fertility health through the decades

The process of maintaining fertility health varies based on age. Nonetheless, please note this blog provides informed advice to consider but not strict guidelines, as everyone’s fertility journey is different.

Fertility in our twenties

Fertility experts consider the twenties a prime time for fertility. However, the habits formed in this decade can significantly influence your fertility in years to come. Therefore, maintaining an active lifestyle and a balanced diet is essential. Regular exercise not only boosts general health but also supports reproductive wellness. Foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and vegetables, can also support your fertility. For example, fertility experts cite raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries as fertility-boosting foods.

Many people choose to start a family in their twenties. Several factors may influence this decision, including lifestyle changes that accommodate family-building (e.g., financial freedom, marriage). But others are less inclined to start a family at this age, or at all.

Regardless of your personal decision about when — or if — to build a family, it's critical to consider fertility preservation options like egg or sperm freezing. These methods offer individuals who wish to delay parenthood an opportunity to preserve their reproductive cells during peak fertility years, increasing the chances of conception in the future. Alternatively, it opens the door to becoming an egg donor if you opt not to start a family.

Fertility in our thirties

The thirties are often marked by significant life changes, which can sometimes generate stress. Because research has linked stress to fertility issues, incorporating stress management techniques into your lifestyle can be beneficial. Consider practices like yoga, meditation, and even simple, mindful breathing exercises.

In addition, health screenings should become a routine part of your life. Regular reproductive health check-ups can detect potential issues early and ensure your reproductive system functions at its best.

If you’re experiencing fertility-related anxiety, it’s wise to consult with a fertility coach or infertility therapist who can guide you through your concerns. Remember, you are not alone: Nine of ten people experiencing infertility also experience depression, and infertility itself is a very common diagnosis. In fact, in the U.S., infertility is more common than Type-2 Diabetes.

Fertility in our forties

Fertility changes more noticeably at this time, especially for women. If you're considering starting or growing a family, fertility preservation methods like egg freezing become particularly relevant. Although usually recommended for individuals in their twenties or early thirties, this option can still be viable for individuals in their forties.

A healthy lifestyle also remains crucial, so continue exercising regularly, maintaining a balanced diet, and proactively managing your stress, if possible.

Fertility in the fifties and beyond

Fertility issues may become less of a focus with age, but caring for your reproductive health is still essential. Men can remain fertile well into their later years, albeit with a decline in fertility levels. Post-menopausal women should continue to schedule annual check-ups to detect potential issues early, including cervical, endometrial, and ovarian cancers.

How can employers become involved?

Society often treats fertility as a highly confidential, even taboo subject. While it’s important to respect the private nature of an individual’s fertility decisions, there are many steps employers can take to ensure the longevity of their employees’ fertility without being invasive.

  1. Provide comprehensive family-building coverage — Coverage that includes egg and sperm freezing and assistive reproductive technologies (ART) makes a huge difference in employees' fertility journeys. Ideally, this coverage should offer healthcare experts that employees can consult with 24/7, electronically or otherwise, to ensure employees are fully provided for regardless of time or situation.
  2. Allow flexibility — Flexibility is key, especially when employees are undergoing fertility treatments. Employers can offer flexible working hours or the option to work remotely, which can help reduce stress and make it easier for employees to attend medical appointments.
  3. Raise awareness — Employers can host workshops or seminars with valuable information and resources about fertility health. These initiatives normalize conversations about fertility in the workplace, eliminate stigma and encourage employees to seek help if needed. Alternatively, employers can partner with a family-building provider — like Stork Club — offering educational materials about common concerns.
  4. Provide mental health support — Dealing with fertility issues can be emotionally challenging. Access to mental health resources like infertility coaching and therapy or other counseling services can support employees when they need it most.
With these steps, employers create a supportive environment and contribute to overall employee well-being and satisfaction by empowering employees to take charge of their fertility health. For more information about fertility health through the decades, we invite you to view Stork Club’s free thirty-minute webinar below.

The webinar features a discussion: “From 20’s to 40’s: Understanding the Stages of Fertility and Family Building” between:

At Stork Club, access to critical reproductive healthcare is a basic human right. Join us on the mission to make reproductive care available for all. Are you interested in adding Stork Club to your team? Sign up to view a demo.