Work during ivf/icsi treatment - what... - Fertility Network UK

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Work during ivf/icsi treatment - what did you do?

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I'm returning to work on Monday after annual leave and plan on speaking with my boss about my ivf treatment. She is aware I will be going through this although doesn't know when it will be happening but now i know it'll be October I can let her know.

My question is what did people do with work? Did anyone take sick leave?

I don't want to be off sick and I never am off. However I feel very anxious about working during treatment. My boss is not supportive at all. I work in a care home and when I became pregnant last year (naturally although miscarried at 7 weeks) I was not put on light duties, we worked short staffed on many occasions and still do, my boss allowed me to continue using heavy equipment (hoist, stand aid etc). No risk assessment was ever done. She shouted at me once when she came in a room and I was sitting down, that day we had been short staffed and this was 3pm the first time I'd sat down since starting my shift at 7am that day and at this point I was 6 weeks pregnant. Due to all this I feel really worried about working while going through all this. I just don't know what to do? Asking to be put on light duties isn't ideal because people will question why and not only that but on days we are short staffed light duties wouldn't be possible.

I know work may not have had anything to do with the miscarriage I had but sometimes I think what it it did though?

I just don't know what to do for the best and feel like I'm getting really stressed and anxious before my treatment even starts πŸ˜₯

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Hi there

I was wondering the same because I start mine in September. I will discuss my options with my boss but I know that I am allowed some time for IVF as this is classed as a medical leave.

I'm sorry to hear that you had difficulties at work and that your boss is not supportive. My advice to you is to take some time off work because you don't want to be stressed during this important time. Just think what is more important to you and I think you will know the answer. Hovewer, try talking to your boss first and tell her how you are feeling. If she responds well, just take some time off but if she is very unsupportive than I suggest that you take a special leave of absence for some time- you will know how much time you need.

I wish you the best of luck!!! X

I didn't take time off the first time but this time I did . I had taken 2 weeks un paid leave. So glad I did a lot less stressful X

I would definitely take time off if you're in a stressful job. I'm a teacher and opted to do my first cycle during summer holidays. Sadly our cycle failed devastating. So it looks like my next cycle for which we re going private probably abroad will be during term time. I will def need some time off. You could work during ivf process but sounds like your job could hinder you. You def need a day off for egg collection and a few days for egg retrieval.

allieb21 in reply to katya38

Hi how are you feeling about this plus job?

I'm a secondary teacher and a HoY. Am awaiting to hear if we have been accepted for NHS funding. I already decided to fill interim head in on situation just before we broke up as I feel I need certain people to know. If we get funding and after reading people's posts am thinking will need some time off for egg removal etc xx

katya38 in reply to allieb21

Hi I'm a primary school teacher. I opted to do our first cycle during summer holidays but it failed so now I'm going to have to request time off. Think we re now going private as nhs wont give us another cycle possibly prague. So am going to have to speak to my head and hopefully she ll authorise time off. I'm prepared for it being unpaid.

you will need to take at least 3 days off after egg transfer. You could take 2 weeks off but to be honest as long as your job isn't too stressful or physical you'd be better to keep busy.

allieb21 in reply to katya38

Hi katya38.

Really hope you get your time off without hassle.

Thanks for advice. I think you are right that if we get funding and then to egg retrieval etc that I will need to be off. My job can be so intense and busy. And we are in SM. It keeps me busy but at that time I am going to have to ensure I'm relaxed for sure xxx

katya38 in reply to allieb21

Good luck I hope it goes well for you x

Ps. You cannot lift anything heavy after embryo transfer

Thanks ladies for all your replies.

I think everyone is right that I definitley need to take some time off. My plan is to try and work through injections and once I've had egg transfer to take at least 2 weeks off. Depending on the outcome I would ideally like to take more time off of if I get a BFP and not return to work until after 12 weeks. I know that probably sounds really dramatic but it would be great not being under stress or having to think of excuses as to why I'm on light duties etc.

Lots of luck with your next treatment kataya38.

So horrible how the stress of ivf treatment starts even before the actual treatment itself πŸ˜” x

katya38 in reply to Amanda86

Hi thank you. It really is a very stressful time. The physical part of ivf is fime but the emotional side is brutal. Good luck x

You have to be selfish and think about you, as your boss clearly doesn't look after you.

I told my bosses when we knew we would be doing IVF, as I was always the go to girl, even though there were others in the same role and I just wanted them to know i might need shift/leave flexibility. They were supportive when I needed it and very understanding around the time of the miscarriages.

The fresh rounds I took leave from collection to around test day and with frozen I didn't have enough leave, so only took a week off.

I'm now in a new company/job and haven't told anyone. I'm just going to take leave from egg collection and for the 2ww. If we do get a BFP, then I may well tell my boss when needed, just because I'll still be on meds and after the previous miscarriages, might have more medical appointments.

As I said at the beginning, it's all about you, so do what you need to be it leave or being signed off sick :-)

Thanks for your reply Hollibob,

I think your right I do need to be selfish and do what's right for me. Especially with a manager who doesn't seem to offer any real support.

So sorry to hear about your miscarriages. Wishing you lots of luck with your next treatment πŸ€ x

Sounds like you had an awful time. My GP signed me off sick and if your boss is likely to be so unsupportive and make you do things that could put you at risk I would get signed. Good luck to you xx


Hiya Amanda86

I am in exactly the same situation as you, I too work in care home, and have no support of my boss. This is our 3 cycle first was iui which ended up in miscarriage and a ectopic pregnancy, and 2 cycles of IVF which failed. I worked all way through my treatment apart from the egg collection and 2 week wait all the treatment process. I did not have any light duties as dependency levels are too and staff shortage. I worked whilst doing my injections and I Even done this in works toilet!! I have now asked my boss and area manager if possible to work early shifts so I be home in evenings to do injections and be able to eat regular and drink plenty. To his response no way! I have now decided to take time off from when I start my injections as we are paying for this treatment and because of that this could be our last chance to start family as cost are horrendous! I feel so much better that I have decided to take time off my doctor has been amazing and very supportive so I'm going to be signed off. I'm now seeing it as my time for me! Time to eat regular, and relax! All the best Hun! Xx

Thanks LHow81, your right with an unsupportive boss I should be looking to getting signed off and I think I probably will 😊

HelenLou - so sorry to hear about the situation your in which is so similar to mine. It's shocking and disgusting having bosses who treat people this way. As if what we are going through isn't hard enough.

Your so right to be getting signed off! I definitley would in your position too and actually people get signed off for far less!

I work 12 hour shifts so like you I will probably be having to do injections in staff toilets which just sounds so horrible πŸ˜”.

Depending on how the chat goes with my boss on Monday I may actually just try to be sighed off for as soon as treatment starts. I guess that means a long time being signed off but we get no thanks for turning up at work even when unwell so why put yourself through that?

Lots of luck with your treatment πŸ€ I really hope this will be your time xx

Hi allieb21

Sorry your reply has just come through.

I'm feeling really anxious about it all. I just feel worried that work will be too stressful because find it is already without doing the ivf on top of it.

I hope your accepted to be NHS funded 😊

Yeah from what I've read most people take a few days off after egg retrieval and again take time off after embryo transfer. Xx

katya38 in reply to Amanda86

I would say you just need to take the day of egg retrieval off I felt absolutely fine after it it's more after embryo transfer you should rest

allieb21 in reply to Amanda86

Hey Amanda86,

I know what you mean. My job is crazy busy and stressful and I'm hardly ever off but seeing what people are saying that if I do hopefully get to that stage, I have to put myself first and the school second.

So do you in your job! It's your time so look after yourself xx

Get yourself signed off work - I did! And I'm so glad I did as didn't have the stress of work and worrying what I was going to say for each appointment and after the transfer I wanted a week off. Xx

Hello Amanda86,

This treatment is incredibly important for you and you need to give yourself permission to put yourself first during it. Your boss actually sounds like a bit of a bully and shouting at staff isn't acceptable under any circumstances. If boss can't be supportive and is unable to put you on light duties then I would definitely consider asking your doctor for a sick note.

At the end of the day, regardless of the outcome you want to be able to look back and feel you have given it your best shot!

Good luck! πŸ€

So sorry to hear ur having a difficult time my boss was really understanding when I was pregnant which helped a lot but it was the cook in kitchen that gave me a hard time trying to get me to do things I wasn't aloud to do but cause I had a risk assessment done there was nothing she could do or say which the same should apply to the type of work that u do it required that u should get a risk assessment done I would just be selfish and take time off or gp sign u off no like u get any thanks for the work u do wish u the best of luck with ur ivf hope it all goes well xx

Thanks ladies for all your tellies. Everyone has been so helpful and after speaking with everyone I don't feel so guilty about the idea of taking time off work for my ivf treatment.

Good luck πŸ€ to everyone on their ivf journey. I'm sure I will be back on here soon with more questions and worries when my treatment gets closer.

Thanks again 😘 xx

Hi Amanda - It's so hard trying to decide what to do for the best, I didn't want to take sick leave either because I felt like I was letting everyone down. Then one of the IVF nurses said to me; this is the most important thing you will do in your life. Two weeks off work will give you the best possible chance of success and work wouldn't thank you any more for coming in and there's nothing they can do about you being off.

She was absolutely right. You have to do what's right for you and your little embie. I would take the time, especially if you have an insensitive boss. My GP put 'hospital appointments' on the sick note and my work didn't challenge it further even though they knew why I was off. Also, when you go back, you are technically pregnant and you have to be treated as such. You have to ask for light duties to give you the best possible chance and so you can't ever question yourself because that's not fair on you.

I'm sorry to read about your previous loss. Sending you lots of love x x x

Thanks mommabear,

That nurse is right. Is it definitely the most important thing all of us ladies will do. I will definitely take the 2 weeks off after embryo transfer, possibly more depending on the outcome.

I spoke with my boss today. Didn't go into much detail as I don't know much.i just let her know it would be October and I wasn't sure how often I would need to attend appointments etc but said I would find out what I could at my next appointment which is Wednesday.

She wasn't too bad. She just said to keep her updated and not to worry as we will work around appointments which I do believe she will.

It's more the being at work if I become pregnant bit I'm worried about as that's the part I didn't feel I had support with before. I guess I just need to see what happens and take each day as it comes 😊

Hope your keeping well


Hi I would take time off if its difficult and you probably don't want the added stress of arguing with your employer however I always thought you are considered 'pregnant' in terms of employment law after the transfer has happened and this only ends if its unsuccessful. I would question their HR as they would be in breach of their duty of care to you as an employee. Health and Safety etc. etc. Also maybe go to your GP and get signed off especially as you are not supposed to lift. If you are always short staffed I am sure your boss would prefer you there on light duties as apposed to off completely?? Good Luck x

AllWeNeedIsluv in reply to SVAK

This post is two years old Amanda now has a gorgeous baby boy at home. X

SVAK in reply to AllWeNeedIsluv

Oh wow that's amazing, clearly not paying attention :-) x

AllWeNeedIsluv in reply to SVAK

It, happens its not clear enough sometimes. Just, bare in mind if your looking at old, posts the feed will continue to show old posts..!! Replying to old ones can bring up bad memories. Take care hun πŸ˜˜πŸ’

Amanda86 in reply to SVAK

Hey, as Cat says it is an older post but thanks for the advice anyway πŸ™‚ in the end my work didn’t get any better and didn’t amend my duties (idiots) however I do now have my baby boy and I’m currently on maternity leave and enjoying being away from work and being a mummy πŸ˜ŠπŸ’™ xxx


I've been signed off for all of my treatments, I see it as I only get so many chances to get pregnant so I wasn't risking anything that may have an influence on it not working, had time off for treatment then got signed of on all my tww. I'm also a nurse in a very demanding heavy short staffed ward so I was not taking any risks so don't hesitate to get signed off this is your chance and life don't let anyone tell you otherwise 😘


Just noticed old post but congratulations xxx

Amanda86 in reply to Hidden

Thank you 😊 xxx

It sounds as though you need to speak to ACAS about raising an employment tribunal about this employer. Where there are care settings, I would imagine there would need to be risk assessments to keep staff and residents safe. If you win, you may have some time off paid anyway!

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