The heart of tech

This article was published on April 25, 2016


Female STEM workers find it harder to get pregnant using IVF

Female STEM workers find it harder to get pregnant using IVF Image by: Eric Hood
Kirsty Styles
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Kirsty Styles

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Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She l Kirsty Styles is a journalist who lives in Hackney. She was previously editor at Tech City News and is now a reporter at The Next Web. She loves tech for good, cleantech, edtech, assistive tech, politech (?), diversity in tech.

Working in tech isn’t great for women at the best of times – and it appears it could actually be affecting their chances of getting pregnant using IVF.

Fertility startup FertilityIQ surveyed more than 1,000 of its users, who use the platform to log their experiences with different doctors and clinics, to understand what situations make you more or less likely to conceive.

Adjusting for other factors, teachers were six-times more likely to conceive than average, followed rather distantly by women working in sales, marketing and public relations, who were all more than twice as likely to have success.

Women working in STEM jobs and those in investment banking were 60 percent less likely to get pregnant than average.

FertilityIQ explained:

Often these women comment that their work environment represents a hindrance during treatment. Patients in these fields comment that they felt the need to keep their treatment a secret from bosses and colleagues and found it harder to begin, and adhere to, a cycle given competing work schedules and pressures.

The data showed that, unlike other health outcomes, higher education levels did not correlate directly with success. Those with law, business and medical degrees had lower rates of success than those with a bachelors degree, for example. But those with university education were, overall, more likely to conceive than those without.

Less surprisingly, wealthier women earning more than $100,000 were more likely to have success too. Given that IVF comes with a pretty eye-watering 70 percent failure rate, and each cycle costs $16,500, FertilityIQ attributes this partly to the fact that those with higher income levels can do more rounds of treatment.