Fertility Network UK

First IVF Cycle

Hi everyone, recently joined and looking for some advice.

Start our first IVF cycle in a few weeks, I suffer from stage 4 severe endometriosis.

As I'm sure all those starting IVF do, I am worrying about EVERYTHING and don't feel prepared or ready at all.

One issue I'm really stuck with is work. We are very understaffed at the moment. The working environment is incredibly stressful and I'm concerned about the impact this will have on the treatment, especially as I'll need time off for appointments (our clinic is a 3 hour drive away). I'm also really worrying about what to tell my colleagues about the time off I'll be having, particularly since dates can't be predicted. I've always been very open about my endometriosis and laparoscopys I've had the past but no one knows that I've been trying to get pregnant for the last few years.

How much time and at what stage did you take time from work and what did you tell colleagues about your absence? I don't really want to tell more people than I have to about the IVF......

Thanks xx

8 Replies

Hi debs, I can totally relate to what your saying about work. I start my first ivf cycle on the 26th of January and have been really lucky in the work respect with getting time off for appointments and things. I have chosen to tell the girls I am teamed with as I won't have time off for the 2ww so want them to understand if I'm a little all over the place. I'm worrying about working over the 2ww part as I don't want to jeopardise anything and I've read lots of ladies have taken time off work, I just thought work would help keep me busy and pass the time quicker and I would just take things easy at work. But if your work environment is going to be stressful for you it's not really what your going to need, I just think you have to do what's best for you. Laura xx


Thanks for your reply Laura, I start 26th January too! I'm on long protocol so doing the down regulation stage. Since posting I've had a long chat with hubby and I'm going to try and sort out things with my work tomorrow. Wishing you lots of luck for your treatment xx


Hello Debs, I can imagine having the same worries! But, at the end of the day, this is really important so you need to do what's right for you. Put yourself first. Be selfish if you need to be. When you're doing your ivf you are the only person who matters. If you need to take holidays, have the GP sign you off or to organise a reduced workload/hours - just do it. Your colleagues will survive a few weeks of additional pressure. Good luck and take care x x x


Thanks Hopeful, you and Laura are both right I think I need to be more selfish and think about my priorities at the moment. It is hard because you can't pre-plan what days you'll need off but I'm feeling focussed now that I need to start facing up to the fact that it's happening and happening soon! Thanks again xx


It's also hard when you take pride in being viewed as hard working and reliable! I had to take time off last year with no notice for an appointment. I felt so guilty. I said to my boss that I had a doctors appointment, that I couldn't change it and I had to go. I was supposed to be going to a meeting and I told him I would need to send my apologises. I think because I was firm about it he realised it was important and didn't ask anything more. Since then, I've worked plenty of extra hours and travelled to umpteen meetings so I've more than made up for taking that time off! x


I knew as soon as we were referred for ivf that I didn't want to be at work from collection + 2WW due to it being short staffed and people moaning/being negative.

I had provisionally booked leave and then had to change it when my down regs had to start later then my body wanted!!

My direct managers are all men, but I told them as I wanted them to understand that my leave might have to be changed again at short notice and there would be various appointments I would need to go to. They have been very supportive to date and only ask how it's going when I bring something up in conversation linked to it.

Don't stress and if in your head you don't want to be at work, take time off.

Good luck x


Worrying about everything comes with the IVF territory I'm afraid! Lol! It is so easy am analyse every little thing, but just get through it stage at a time. Try not to think about 3 weeks time, or egg collection, or fertilisation, or the 2ww because there are SO many difficult stages to go through, I found the best way to stay sane and calm - ish! Was to just deal with each day as it comes, tackle each stage head on and try to stay positive too. Very hard I know!

With regards to work.... It's a tough call isn't it. Do you share everything and then open yourself up to constant questions when some days you may just not want to talk about it. Or lie about why you need time off and just wait and see if it works first. Everyone is different, I would personally go for not telling everything yet. You can get away with taking leave for appointments I assume. It sounds awful that we have to lie but you could always say - if asked - that yr taking a relative to an appointment and they can't drive themselves. I guess the main problem of not telling your manager/colleagues is if you feel a bit rubbish at work they may wonder what's up. I understand the stimulation drugs can make you feel a bit crappy (I had to have a donor egg, so didn't have to inject stims). So you may have to be prepared for that

Most clinics say you don't need to take the whole of the 2ww wait off work and really you should just carry on as normal to help keep yourself occupied and to keep you sane because yes....It's the longest two weeks ever before you can do your pregnancy test!! I was lucky and I was in between contracts so I didn't have to race about. Most ladies do like to take a few days off after transfer though as when using your own eggs you can feel a bit tender inside and tired. So as you say your work is a bit stressful if may be a good idea, if you can, to just take a few days off after transfer to put your feet up and let everything inside settle down! But you may find going back to work (but not overdoing it) makes the time drift by better! If you're standing up a lot with your job too you may find you get a bit tired in the afternoonsg

I wish you every success with your treatment and hope it goes well for you Xx


Thanks Hope23, I'm feeling much better about things today. Wish I'd found this forum sooner! X


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