The concept of fertility preservation lends itself to the idea of women being able to harness more control over their reproductive future, familial desires and potential career goals, simultaneously. However, with the cost and process of egg freezing often arduous, the accessibility to it is minimised for many. A new avenue to help combat this lack of access has recently been explored in the United States of America and has started to make waves in Australia: employer-sponsored egg freezing.
“The concept of employer sponsored egg freezing was introduced back in 2014, when Facebook and Apple announced that they were going to introduce it as an employee benefit, causing much public attention, controversy and discussion,” says Dr Molly Johnston, lead author of Monash University’s study, Employer-sponsored egg freezing: carrot or stick? in which more than 650 Victorian women were surveyed on the topic.
In the last decade, demand for egg freezing has been on a steady incline, with the number of freezing cycles carried out annually having risen by more than 800 per cent between 2010 and 2018. However, egg freezing is not currently covered under Medicare and the average cost per cycle is reported to be almost $5,000. Storage is free for the first six months, the consumer then paying $500 annually for ongoing storage.