Toronto-based Carrot member Deana started to think more seriously about her fertility in her late 20s as friends began discussing the topic more and societal pressure crept in. But it wasn’t until a few years later when she had time during the pandemic that she decided to learn more about her fertility health. She got off hormonal birth control pills, worked with her healthcare provider, and tested her fertility. That’s when she learned that her anti-müllerian hormone (AMH) levels were low for her age, suggesting that she had a decreased number of eggs.
“When I did my fertility testing, I wasn’t going into it with egg freezing in mind. I just wanted to know about my fertility health overall. Finding out that my AMH was pretty low, I realized I had to do something about it,” Deana recalled.
But at that time, financially, there wasn’t much Deana could do. In Canada, egg freezing costs an average of $10,000 CAD per cycle. It wasn’t until she started her job at Xero and the company announced its fertility benefit with Carrot that she felt empowered to do something about her fertility and freeze her eggs.
A supportive and flexible workplace
Deana never had fertility benefits at work, so the announcement of the Carrot benefit surprised her but ultimately made her feel supported. “When they announced the benefit, it made me feel like there’s actually support for women,” she said. “It made me realize that the company was thinking about the future.”
On the day the Carrot benefit was announced, Deana immediately signed into the Carrot platform and began exploring her resources, including the funds Xero provided for care. While receiving fertility and family-forming coverage through her employer was essential to her egg freezing journey, the support from her manager also played a positive role in her overall experience.
Like many, Deana initially hesitated to tell her manager about freezing her eggs. In fact, 79% of people feel uncomfortable discussing fertility openly at work. However, as she learned more about the egg freezing process, including the number of doctor appointments she’d have to attend, she decided to let her manager know what was happening.
“I probably wouldn’t have been able to freeze my eggs if I didn’t have a flexible employer,” she said. “My manager was very supportive and I’m really glad I said something to him.”
More than financial coverage: Emotional support and expert guidance from Carrot
With employer-provided funds from Xero and a supportive manager, Deana embarked on her egg freezing journey. After speaking to a Carrot Expert about how she could use her benefit, she found a Carrot-eligible provider near her apartment, who was also recommended by her healthcare provider, to begin her treatment.
From self injections to frequent doctor appointments, Deana described the egg freezing process as taxing. However, she found comfort and reassurance from Carrot’s emotional support expert.
“In addition to my therapist, I talked to the Carrot Expert and expressed my concerns and fears about the process,” Deana said. “It was therapeutic because I realized through my conversation with her that I was bottling up a lot of feelings. There was a lot of pressure that I wasn’t really acknowledging. The Carrot Expert shared resources about how to overcome the pressure I was feeling and how to take it step by step, which was very helpful.”
After navigating the ups and downs of her own egg freezing journey and ultimately retrieving 12 eggs from her cycle, Deana reflected, “If I didn’t have the Carrot benefit, I don’t know that I would’ve been able to do this. The benefit from my work covered the majority of my costs, which is incredible and I’m so grateful for that.”
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