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Facebook, Apple finance female employees’ ‘egg freezing’

Should the female employees in one of these companies wish to freeze her eggs, the new policy will cover the costs

Published: Updated:

Silicon Valley tech giants Facebook and Apple will start paying for their female employees’ egg freezing in 2015, U.S. network NBC News reported.

Should the female employees in one of the companies wish to freeze their eggs, the new policy will cover the costs, which can reach as high as $10,000 per round in addition to an annual $500 for storage.

Egg freezing puts a woman’s fertility on hiatus until she makes the decision to bear children.

“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 News.

Adams said the policy is an effort to invest in female talent, allowing women to plan the lives they seek.

The coverage will offer a “payback” to the women who have put off childbearing during their careers, a commitment the policy would reward, Philip Chenette, a fertility specialist in San Francisco, said.

Facebook, where the benefit falls under their surrogacy coverage, had already started paying for its employees’ egg freezing.

Apple is scheduled to begin in January and the scheme will fall under its fertility benefit. Both companies are allocating up to $20,000 for the procedure.

Before a fairly short procedure, women who plan on freezing their eggs undergo 10 days of fertility drug injections.

Following the outpatient procedure, the patient is good to go and can “get back to work the next day,” Lynn Westphal, associate professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Stanford University Medical Center, was quoted by NBC News as saying.

The eggs are then frozen and used whenever their owners wish.

Women who know they want children can “go on with their lives and know that they've done everything that they can,” Chenette said.

While the technique does not guarantee a pregnancy, a survey has shown that many women who have frozen their eggs reported feeling “empowered.”

“The attitude toward egg freezing is very different,” Christy Jones, founder of Extend Fertility, said, explaining that attitudes are now more positive than a few years ago.

Women are freezing their eggs a form of empowerment rather than a last resort to have children, Jones said, whose company offers and promotes egg freezing in the United States.