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In support of International Women's Day, leading family-building benefits provider takes a deeper look at impacting factors behind uniquely personal decisions related to fertility
Key Findings From Respondents (Age 35+):
- Top reasons for postponing motherhood until 35+ included relationship status (53%), lifestyle (45%), finances (44%) and career goals (36%)
- Women who waited pointed to accomplishing milestones such as improving finances, becoming homeowners, furthering education and career, and traveling because of their choice
- 74% of women were concerned about their ability to have children after 35+ from a fertility standpoint, and 42% of women said they had a more challenging time getting pregnant as a result of waiting
- Support is critical to the family building journey; 82% of women were open to sharing their decision to wait to have children until age 35+ years old
- 30% of women would not consider fertility treatments due to financial cost, therefore 81% of women feel it is important that an employer provides fertility benefits and support.
GREENWICH, Conn., March 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, WIN, the nation's leading family-building benefits provider, released a isurvey of US women who chose to delay motherhood until after the age of 35, revealing motivating factors, challenges and benefits to their decisions and how fertility benefits factor into the journey. As the median age of new moms in the US rises to 30, these results signify that although the decision is not made lightly, there is no longer a stigma around choosing to become a parent later in life. The survey further indicates that access to fertility treatments and benefits is critical to empowering women and to accomplish relationship, financial and career goals to set them up for motherhood.
"Despite societal and biological pressures, the choice to have children later in life is a deeply personal one that should be supported," says Dr. Roger Shedlin M.D., CEO of WIN. "Often times women are faced with the difficult decision of becoming mothers or accomplishing their goals during their prime fertility years. With increased access to fertility testing, education, preservation services and family building options, women now have more power to enter motherhood when they are ready rather than when they feel like they need to. At WIN, our mission is to help build families taking all different paths by providing access to the best doctors, and support so they can enjoy their personal journey at whatever age feels right for them."
Despite Challenges and Feeling Pressured—79% of Mothers Who Waited Until 35+ Years Old Would Make the Same Choice Again
It's widely known that women often experience pressure from family, friends, and society to have children. They also feel personally concerned about their ability to conceive and the challenges associated with having children later in life. However, if given the option, women would make the same choice to wait.
- 73% of women experience pressure from family, friends, or society to have children.
- 74% of women were concerned about their ability to have children after 35+ from a fertility standpoint, but 48% said technology helped them explore their options and feel more comfortable in their decision
- 42% of women said they had a more challenging time getting pregnant and 52% said pregnancy was more difficult as a result of waiting.
Relationships Play the Biggest Role in Women's Motherhood Decisions
When looking at how relationships influence and affect a woman's decision to wait to have children until after age 35, the survey revealed that relationships not only play a big part but are also positively impacted as a result of choosing to wait.
- Over half of the women (53%) said they chose to have children later in life (35+ years old) due to their relationship status, meaning these women were not in a relationship or in a period in their relationship where they were ready to have children earlier. Relationship status was the number one reason women said they chose to wait.
- Regardless of romantic relationships, 64% of women had full support from their families when making the decision to wait to have children.
- As a result, 40% of respondents said they ended up building closer relationships by choosing to have children later in life.
- Women also said they find relationships with professionals, such as a nurse advocate, important during their fertility journey.
Lifestyle and Finances are Key Factors in Delaying Parenthood
Unsurprisingly, lifestyle and finances were major considerations that impacted women's decisions. By waiting to enter motherhood after 35, 93% of women indicated they accomplished goals related to lifestyle or finances.
- Aside from relationship status, lifestyle (45%), finances (44%) and career goals (36%) were top reasons for waiting until later in life to become a mother.
- 39% of women who chose to wait until after 35 to become mothers furthered their education, 38% improved their finances, 33% improved their personal wellbeing and 33% became homeowners setting themselves up to better provide as mothers.
- Additionally, 38% of women traveled or enjoyed experiences they wouldn't otherwise have and 29% landed dream jobs by delaying motherhood, showing that women don't have to choose between accomplishing goals and becoming a parent.
The Decision to Wait is Not Made Lightly, Once Made Women Emphasize the Need for Support Deciding when to have children is a hard choice that has left many women over the age of 35 to debate weeks, months, and even years. Despite the thoughtful contemplation, women are not afraid to talk about it and crave support.
- More than half (65%) of women said they debated their decision for weeks, months or years.
- In the end, 82% of women were open to some degree, sharing their decision to wait to have children until age 35+ years old.
- Women not only sought support from loved ones but indicated that professional support and advocacy were critical their family building journey with respondents noting that 24/7 nurse care advocates and professional emotional support services would be beneficial.
Women Feel They Have to Sacrifice Fertility Due to Finances; However, Employers are Making Family-Building More Affordable
While fertility education, testing and treatments are critical to allowing women to feel reassured in their decision to delay motherhood, cost is a major barrier. With the increase in employers offering fertility benefits, women are now able to make this choice more freely.
- 30% of women would not consider fertility treatments, such as egg preservation, in vitro fertilization (IVF), adoption, surrogacy because they are too expensive.
- The majority (81%) of respondents feel it is important that an employer provides fertility benefits and support.
- A benefits card, which has pre-allocated funds for fertility treatments and helps mitigate out-of-pocket expenses, was said to be one of the most important parts of the fertility care journey.
Women are becoming more confident in their decisions to carve their own path and enter motherhood when they are ready, rather than when they feel it is necessary. Fertility benefits have been pivotal to increasing access to preservation and family building options allowing women to own and make their choices in a way that has never been seen before.
For more information, please visit https://www.winfertility.com.
WIN is the nation's leading family-building and family-support company, providing comprehensive solutions for employers, health plans and consumers. From fertility management, including medical treatment, pharmacy and genetics to surrogacy and adoption, WIN has helped more than 400,000 families by providing access to the best doctors, technology, and support. WIN works with the nation's leading reproductive endocrinologists and integrates with national and regional insurance carriers, as well as the nation's largest pharmacy benefit managers, to deliver the most advanced and effective fertility treatments and family-building solutions. WIN's Nurse Care Advocates navigate patients through the often-complex process, providing clinical oversight, emotional support, advocacy, and education throughout the journey. WIN also provides a benefits card, the WINCard, which provides patients with pre-allocated funds that can be used for family-building treatments and support. Patients and clients that utilize WIN's program see higher pregnancy rates, fewer multiple gestations, more efficient benefit utilization, and lower costs. The company headquarters are based in Greenwich, CT. For more information about WIN, visit https://www.winfertility.com.
iStudy conducted on 1,000 Americans that identify as female, between the ages of 35 and 54+ years old during the month of January 2023.