Facebook and Apple have a new perk for their female employees: an offer to pay for freezing their eggs, to delay parenting and stay focussed on their careers.
NBC News reported that Facebook began offering this perk in January and Apple plans to start middle of 2015, joining an emerging trend across industries and other sectors.
The option of freezing her eggs when she is most fertile helps a women extend fertility and delay motherhood — which tends to put their careers on hold — a professional setback not equally encumbering men.
“For the young professional who wants to delay starting a family or the single woman who simply hasn’t yet found Mr Right, egg freezing may be a viable option,” said Fahimeh Sasan of Eggbanxx, a chain of eggs freezing clinics, on company website.
“Having a high-powered career and children is still a very hard thing to do,” Brigitte Adams, an egg-freezing advocate and founder of the patient forum Eggsurance.com, told NBC.
The procedure, however, is neither perfect nor cheap. Not all frozen eggs lead to successful pregnancy — the younger the donor, the better are the chances.
Oocyte cryopreservation, as the process is known technically, prolongs a woman’s chances of conceiving even later in life, using the eggs stored from when they
“Since fertility dramatically decreases after age 35, egg freezing acts as ‘fertility insurance’ and preserves the viability of the egg,” said Fahimeh Sasan of Eggbanxx, a chain of eggs freezing clinics, on company Website.
But the process is not cheap and increases by up to $10,000 for every round (5 to 15 eggs are retrieved every round. Experts believe at least 20 are needed for one pregnancy). Storage can cost $500 or more a year.
Both Apple and Facebook are giving coverage of up to $20,000.