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Racing Louisville FC part of a first-of-its-kind agreement for the National Women's Soccer League

The clinic will provide complimentary egg freezing, embryo freezing and long-term storage services.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In an effort to give Racing Louisville FC players more flexibility to start families, the club announced a partnership Tuesday with Kentucky Fertility Institute.

The fertility clinic will provide complimentary egg freezing, embryo freezing and long-term storage services to allow Racing's players to start families with minimal interruption to their careers. 

"The average age of the Racing player is the same as the average age that a woman in the United States gives birth for the first time," Dr. Robert Hunter, director of the Kentucky Fertility Institute, said. "So inherently, these players have made a decision, knowingly or unknowingly, to defer fertility to allow them to pursue their professional career."

Hunter said while some women are able to play while pregnant, it's not possible for most.

"For some, pregnancy would be career-ending," Hunter said. "It puts a lot of stress on the body and, obviously, having the responsibilities of a newborn are all big life-changing events."

Brynn Sebring, Racing's director of player experience, said she hopes this partnership will take some stress off of players who are struggling to decide between starting a family and continuing their playing career.

"The treatments are pretty cost-inhibitive, especially for our players who, with our salary caps, aren't making the money to afford a procedure like this," Sebring said. 

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According to club officials, this is a first-of-its-kind agreement for a National Women's Soccer League club but isn't unheard of in professional women's sports.

The most recent WNBA collective bargaining agreement includes a family planning section. 

WNBA players who've played at least eight years in the league can be reimbursed for adoption, surrogacy, egg freezing, fertility and infertility treatment services.

RELATED: WNBA star races to hospital for birth of daughter after Game 5 win

Hunter said he hopes this partnership creates a downstream effect to open up family planning options to more women across all industries in the future.

"There are nine other teams in the league that don't have these benefits," Hunter said. "And certainly, for women in the country as a whole, there are significant challenges that remain."

Contact reporter Rachel Droze at rdroze@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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