AUTHOR: Jessica Freedman BA
Reproductive health explained
The World Health Organization defines reproductive health like “a state of full physical, mental and social well-being and not just the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and its functions and processes ”(WHO). It means having control over your health, access to education and medical care at all stages of reproductive life – from menstruation to menopause.
Common reproductive health conditions you should be aware of include:
- Infertility and fertility issues (affecting 1 in 7 couples in the UK)
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), Premenstrual symptoms (PMS) and premenstrual exacerbation (PMS)
- Fibroids (impacting 1 in 3), polycystic ovaries (PCO) (impacting 1 in 5) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis (both impacting 1 in 10 women) Thyroid dysfunction (impacting 12% of the population)
- Primary ovarian failure (POI), early menopause (affecting 1 in 20 women) and menopause (affecting almost all women!)
- Gynecologic cancers, including of the cervix, ovary, uterus, vagina and vulva
The gender health gap
1 in 3 women have a serious reproductive health problem, but less than half seek help
– Public health England
Many women in the UK struggle to get diagnosed with a reproductive health problem – in large part because of symptom of rejection and the normalization of the pain of “women’s issues”. Research has revealed a gender health gap in the UK, where many women receive poorer quality health care than men (UK Parliament). Surprisingly, 70% of women with PCOS remain undiagnosed and the average time to diagnose endometriosis is 7 years on the NHS (Endometriosis UK).
As employers seek to fill gaps in NHS and private health insurance arrangements, there is an industry-wide shift towards more inclusive and tailor-made mental and physical wellness benefits . Reproductive health benefits become central to this package – a ‘must have’ not a “nice to have”.
Introduction to Reproductive Health Benefits
“Reproductive Health Benefits” is an umbrella term that encompasses the support that employers provide to their employees throughout their stages of reproductive life – fertility, family formation and menopause. The following are examples of reproductive health benefits:
- Education and awareness such as educational workshops, lunch and learns, online training and engagements
- Inclusive policies such as fertility treatments, miscarriages, reproductive health leave, and menopause policies
- Health check-ups and first consultations such as hormonal check-ups, infertility diagnosis, recognition of signs of menopause, and specialist appointments
- Consulting, nutritional and lifestyle coaching
- Medication and full or partial coverage of processing
“Mental health used to be a hushed conversation, but over the past 5-10 years we’ve had a wave of rehab and now people feel comfortable talking about their mental health. We see the same thing happening with reproductive health, which has a huge impact on mental and physical health. Many companies have recently announced a more inclusive fertility or menopause policy – and this is just the beginning. – Deirdre O’Neill, CCO of Hertility Health
Benefits of hermeticity for your workforce
Hertility Health is shaping the future of reproductive health by empowering women to understand and manage their hormonal health, from menstruation to menopause. We believe in a proactive approach to reproductive health – by catching problems early, we can prevent problems later.
We partner with leading companies to deliver the best reproductive health benefits and improve access to reproductive health care and education. We believe in personalized plans – for you and your employees – and offer a range of business plans and coverage options to meet your needs, from educational workshops to women’s health assessments and consultations with in-house experts. .
For early adopters who have fertility treatment benefits for employees, we help you protect that budget – our proactive hormone testing is only a fraction of the cost of the clinic and by identifying issues early we can avoid a expensive treatment. When treatment is required, our blood tests are accepted by partner clinics and reduce processing time.
We provide DE&I impact reports, so you can see the tangible impact on your workforce and bottom line.
Contact us today. To find out more about hertility benefits for employers, contact [email protected] or visit our website