Stress

Hi ladies! I am due to start my first ivf cycle at the end of the month but I'm getting a bit concerned about my stress levels. I have a very demanding and stressful job and I'm usually ok during the day but the anxiety will wake me up for several hours every night. So I'm always exhausted!

I'm worried that this is going to hurt my chances of ivf being successful. Im already having acupuncture and that's not made much difference yet. What do you guys think? Is this going to impact any embies and any suggestions of how to deal with this?

Thanks in advance everyone xxx

51 Replies

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  • Hiya I can relate .I got a promotion 2 years ago and funny enough we have been trying since then and still nothing!. I had a very difficult boss who was like a roller coaster to work for and emotionally it was very hard. I never told her we were trying so kept it all to myself.

    My advise would be take some time off prior if you can try to get a wknd away spend some time talking it through with your partner. Plan when your need time off during treatment and plan your appointments. Tell your boss sooner rather than later. I got a very strict boss (New one) and I told him before we even started and he was surprisingly good. If you do over time then stop doing it. Delegate as much as possible. You be surprised that when you start the IVF process that's all you think about and work starts to seem less important. I never believed that thing of :Well it's just a job, phase and thought worked defined who I was but you be surprised how quickly it changes.

    I'm also having acupuncture and I got to be honest it didn't really change much for me until I started IVF treatment.

    Best if luck xx

  • Thanks Buffy. It sounds like you have had your fair share of work stress too. Its not easy is it?! I'm glad that your new boss was good about it all. To be fair to my workplace, I have a great team and my boss is lovely. Its just the nature of the job means very demanding clients, deadlines, general stressful stuff that plays on my mind when I should be sleeping! You're definitely right about overtime and delegation etc. I think I just need to have a good week this week to sort out everything that's on my mind then hopefully I'll be a lot calmer once its time to get started.

    Like you say, once IVF starts I'm sure everything else will pale into insignificance!

    Thanks so much for your advice and hope all is going well for you xxx

  • Glad there are some positives in work. I've leaned that stress is what we put on ourselves and sometimes it's ok not to be super woman!If you are like me you like to plan and organize EVERYTHING !I'm better at not being perfect in work cos I want to be perfect for my 2xlittle embryos Bill and Bob who hopefully will give me bfp soon🀞xx

  • Ahhhh, bill and bob - I love that!! Hopefully bill and bob are busy burrowing down right now :)

    Yes I am quite obsessive in terms of wanting to sort everything at work, so we sound quite similar!! Hopefully when it comes to it I'll be able to let go of the unimportant stuff. Like you say we can't be super woman in every aspect of our lives all the time! Thanks buffy and sending love to bill and bob😍 xxx

  • Best advice, please do not over think it, I along with many others know why we tell you this. Don't waste your time thinking and thinking of each injection, just do them as though you are completing another job off your to do list or like making a cup of tea. Seriously, you won't have stress. Our minds are our own worst enemies. Be calm or have Accupuncture...avoid overthinking...I know how it is the first time around...all extremely exciting but think positively all the wayyyy. Good luck xxx keep us posted xxx βœ¨βœ¨βœ¨βœ¨βœ¨βœ¨βœ¨βœ¨πŸ’‹

  • Thanks Fatooli :) You're so right - my mind is definitely my worst enemy!! I have a hyponotherapy cd on its way to me (although its currently 'lost in transit') which hopefully will help! But yes I am also very excited to get started so fingers crossed everything goes smoothly! xxx

  • Try and take each day as it comes as it can be an emotional ride xxx

  • Thanks Button xxx

  • i think a lot of ladies on here can relate to you strawb.

    i spent last year depressed about our unexplained infertility & the prospect of IVF.

    it's unfair & cruel and unless someone has gone through it, they've no idea how involved it is.

    as others have said - try not to over analyse everything & be kind to yourself. if you can, be open with your manager so you have support at work.

    for me the hardest part was accepting my situation. now i'm half way through stimulation & have gone into autopilot. you can do this!

    wishing you strength & lots of luck xx

  • Hi noodles, so sorry that you've had such a tough year last year. I know what you mean about accepting the situation. I will think about telling my boss about it (she is already suspicious that something is going on with all my appointments!) but I'm quite private about it at the moment.

    Glad that you have now got into autopilot stage :) I'm looking forward to being in that place!

    Thank you for your kind words and hope all goes well for you on this cycle xxx

  • thanks for your good wishes strawb.

    if you'd prefer to keep it private & want to avoid time off, is there an option to work from home?

    i know it's a really personal issue, but i found telling my manager & a couple of close colleagues took the pressure off me as i didn't constantly have to pretend to be ok.

    it's a bloody test of endurance this infertility malarkey!

    sending lots of luck πŸ’•

  • Yeah I think working from home is my best bet! Its automatically more chilled when you're at home isnt it. I'm glad that telling your colleagues has helped ease the pressure off you, that's really good news.

    Ha test of endurance it definitely is and ive not even set off on the first cycle yet! It's great to have all of you ladies here to chat through everything with. Think I'd drive my husband mad otherwise!

    Thank you, sending you lots of follicle growing goodness☺☺ xxx

  • I so get that noodles. I was so recentful and angry before IVF and down about it. Now the journey has started I see it all as part of my faith or destiny and I just go with the flow xx

  • hi buffy - i'm not quite as accepting as you, but am certainly getting there 🌞

    where are you up to in your journey?

  • Tww at the moment!on day 3 following two blastocyst transfers. I've taken couple of days off chilling and sending good vibes to Bill and Bob lol xx

  • Hiya, have you had a chat with your GP about signing you off work for a period of time? When I started my treatment, my GP (and I believe most/all GPs are very sympathetic around IVF) was more than happy to sign me off for however long I felt was necessary - so I took a month and I know it was definitely the right thing to do. At the end of the day the most important thing to me was getting pregnant and being stressed would not of helped - Its stressful enough going through the cycle. So my advice would be to defo take some time out, whatever you feel you need to just let your body and mind wind down and prepare for what youre about to go through hun. Good luck xxx

  • Hi 1Boo, thanks for your message and kind words. I'd not actually thought about signing off! It makes total sense though, why put ourselves through something that we know stresses us out when we're going through such an important process! Good to hear that you took a month out. And it obviously worked for you! :) congratulations and I look forward to hearing your news in a few weeks :) xxx

  • Sorry to hijack your thread Strawb86, I was just wondering whether 1Boo would mind sharing whether the IVF treatment was noted on the absence certificate. I haven't told Work I'm starting treatment and am hoping to cover this first cycle through annual leave but will struggle to do that if we need a second cycle . Hope you don't mind me asking!

  • Hi hun, you don't have to state that you're having 'IVF' (I think that's legally too) I just got my GP to write 'gynaelogical operation' which requires recovery time 😌 I felt comfortable enough to tell my manager but I did consult with a work union who said I didn't have to disclose that if I didn't want to. Maybe check out citizens advice on that if you don't have a union.

    I really have to say that having the time out Defo helped as I was feeling stressed anyway about the upcoming treatment.... constantly going over in your mind, will it work? What if it doesn't work? Just take it easy, don't stress yourself about anything, diets etc Try to stay positive, if you do have time out, do things you enjoy to keep yourself occupied!

    ... I'm 39 weeks 2moro 😌

    Good Luck and baby dust to you and all that read this post! πŸ€πŸ€πŸ€ xxx

  • Thank you so much. Really appreciate the reply and good luck with your impending due date! X

  • I too got signed off for my second cycle, as my first I was running around like a maniac, and was incredibly stressed. Although this cycle has been put on hold because of a freeze all, my GP has said they will sign me off for the next stage of treatment. Try to put yourself first! Good luck! Xx

  • Thanks Aleelilook. Sorry you had such a stressful first cycle! I will definitely thinking about signing off if it gets too much. Good luck for your next stage! xxx

  • I'm just going to throw this up in the air!I recommend NOT going on the sick!I'm my work we have a scoring system and any sick gets deducted and can lead to dismissal! That is the least thing you should need to worry about at a time where you have to to worry about. Also when you return you'll either have to fes up or invent some stupid reason.

    The problem is that ACAS (go to website acas.org.uk) havent got clear policies and its up to each employer how they police IVF. We have a HR dept. They were extremely good with me. Speak with them first and see where you stand. My partner works for an international multi IT company who has an IVF policy and so he can have up to 2 weeks off paid!I work for a lesser great company and they don't have that policy.

    I ended up using a combination of hours worked in advance for appointments, annual leave and unpaid time off. I only needed 4 days off unpaid in the end so it didn't break the bank.

    I feel really strongly about this issue and happy to offer more advice as this is something both myself and my partner has investigated fully.

    Why should women have to suffer with this in the work place?It needs a proper policy rolled out to ALL UK employers.

    xx

  • I've just checked out that website buffy, thank you for sharing. Interesting that there's a specific section on leave for ivf treatment! I so agree that a mandatory policy should be rolled out to all employers. People could be very unfairly disadvantaged depending on their employer's attitudes.

    That is shocking that it could impact dismissal at your work! As if you need anything else to think about! Thank goodness your hr team have been reasonable xxx

  • I too have a very stressful job and noticed my stress levels double with all the infertility stress too and I feel my stress is perhaps why we have ended up not being able to conceive naturally. Our first cycle was a whirlwind and I cried at every appointment and tried to keep working but was so tired, emotional and the unpredictability of appointments was making me more stressed. In the end I came clean and told my boss and she was great and told me to clear my diary and just go home. I also got the gp to sign me off..in answer to someone above the gp asked me what I wanted put down as the reason..I said stress due to fertility treatment to be honest by the time I rocked up at the gp in tears I didn't care what she put down there. I have to say in my gp practice I have found the female gp way more understanding. I am now starting daily injections this week on our 2nd cycle and am much more organised. I have been telling folks for about a month I am going into hospital for treatment so can't make meetings etc and nobody seems to ask. I have booked the gp for this week and plan to get signed off for a month. I care less and less about work and know time off is what I need and what works for me. I plan to spend my time with lots of trashy DVDs, walking my dog, swimming and just chilling. I do mindfulness, yoga and acupuncture too and that all helps relax me plus of course time with my wonderful husband. We plan lots of nice things to do again are no treatment time before during and after and that all helps. Best advice is to take best care if you and only you know what is right for you. Lots of love and luck xxxx

  • Ah Vic, it sounds like you've had an awful time of it :( im so sorry to hear that.but it does sound like you're going into your second cycle with some really good habits, I think I should take a leaf out of your book :) I especially like the idea of planning lots of nice things to do with your husband during treatment, I will float this idea when he eventually returns from work! Sending you lots of luck for this cycle xxx

  • I'm with the suggestions of getting signed off for a time if u can!! Or the very least work from home but then u still aren't having a complete break from the stress.maybe have a chat with the doc and see.u gotta give this opportunity every chance xxx

  • Hi, myself and partner are waiting to start on our IVF journey, as pretty scared about the whole thing. I am a teacher and work ridiculous hours- am at work for 8, don't stop all day, leave about 7, quick tea and shower then start again until about 11. I am worried that once we start in our journey m not going by to be able to maintain my work, we are also due Ofsted which doesnt help the situation! Any advice? I'm not very good at taking time off!!!! Xx

  • Oh no cls37, that just sounds completely unsustainable even without having ivf to deal with!! Do all of your colleagues work that many hours? Do you do any 'extras' that someone else could help with to spread the load? I'm sure the thought of ofsted looming doesn't help either. Do you have an understanding head? I think if I was in your position I'd have to let someone senior know and ask them to help manage/reduce my workload. You need to be able to relax and have some you time (as much as I hate that expression!). When are you expecting to start your first cycle...any chance it neatly coincides with easter holidays?! :)Sending you lots of good wishes and luck for when the time comes xxx

  • Thank you so much for you reply. We are going to the hospital a week on Saturday to sign the paperwork!! After that Im not really sure what to expect..... going to have to get over my fear of needles I think!!!! Its so lovely to have support on here - this is the first time I have posted xx

  • Ahh well then welcome to the group :) you will find lots of support here! I have lots of teacher friends so I understand through them how much work pressure can get heaped on at school!

    So many people say they started off with awful needle fears but it soon became second nature so I am sure you will be just fine :) exciting times signing the paperwork soon! You're well on your way! Xxx

  • Thank you xx

  • Hi @cls37 was just reading through this and saw your post. I'm a teacher and a hoy in a tough secondary. I had a failed cycle in November. Went back 4 days after ET and I really struggled with my hormones, work etc. People above knew my situation and were amazing but at end of the day life in school goes on.

    I struggled badly after too. I am now planning on 2nd cycle in easter hols but it'll mean EC, ET and 2ww will all fall into beginning of may time if all works out. So I've decided I'm not going back in after easter and will see a doc about being signed off. This is my last NHS cycle and too important. Work will always be there but these chances will not. Ofsted are always due at our place too but end of the day put yourself first x

  • Thank you for your reply. School are aware of my situation but I'm not sure they understand! Everyone keeps telling me to put myself first but I find it very hard, even in the holidays it's on my mind constantly. I guess I need some strategies to help. Thank you for taking the time to respond x

  • Honestly I am the same. I always have work on my mind. But I'll be working till I'm 60 odd and I want to get there not hating my job but knowing I gave myself the best chance with ivf. School will survive without us. You have to try completely switch off. No emails etc but I know I will still look and pre plan for my return.

    No regrets x

  • Thank you.... it's terrible what we do to ourselves isn't it! I find myself sneaking into my iPad and checking emails!! It's really not healthy. I feel better knowing that I'm not the only one. Good luck with everything!! I'm just thinking that this time next week we will be getting ready to go to the hospital to find out what is going to happen xx

  • Are you primary or secondary? No matter which is hard!

    Thank you! Which part of the journey are you on? X

  • im in an infants! we are just about to start our journey 0- have had no end of tests at the hospital and have confused everyone as my HSG was clear however my internal showed a potential cyst!! the MRI has clarified a blocked / swollen tube but have opted out of surgery due to previous surgery as there are many risks. Am worried as our chances of succesful IVF are reduced because of this but it seems there is nothing more we can do! Its all so hard - I want to give this our best shot! its so hard seeing all your family and friends having babies xx

  • I hear you! All my friends are on baby 2 at moment. I just want one!

    Ok well as I've been through a cycle already, I know more of what to expect and it means I also know how second work has to come. We feel more guilty about not being in as it's not like we have broken our leg and can't get in or about. And a broken leg is more visual. Ivf is physically and mentally draining. Think of how you feel generally with work and multiply that by ten. It's why I've decided to ask to be signed off. I know other teachers who have gone in and been fine. It really is all relative to you as an individual but to weigh it up consider how you feel generally plus then treatment on top x

  • Thank you for your advice, really appreciate it. I really hope everything goes well for you xx

  • You too and keep in touch x

  • xx

  • I am a secondary school teacher starting my second cycle over Easter. I stayed off after egg collection for 10 days as my line manager was horrible & I was afraid she would make me too stressed which may affect the success of the cycle. This time however I am going to go back to work to take my mind off of the situation (plus manager is off long term sick!). It is truly what works for you. Lots of women go back to work straight away & get pregnant in the same way that I stayed at home & didn't so please don't feel there is an official right way or wrong way.

    As an aside I told my school with the first cycle & as I took off longer than planned I was told that any other absences linked to future cycles would be unpaid so it might be worth seeing if your school has a policy in place already.

    Good luck with it all & be confident in whatever decision you make. Xx

  • Hi Strawb

    I'm in the same boat as you it seems. I'm also due to start IVF at the end of this month.

    Unfortunately work is so busy at the moment I wake up in the middle of the night quite often irrationally worrying about work.

    Fortunately work should be less busy for me in a few weeks so I'm hoping March will be quieter at work when I'm going through IVF. Fingers crossed and if not I will use annual leave to take long weekends either relaxing at home or away.

    I definitely recommend doing meditation. I have the Omnava app which is a meditation app. I listen to it sometimes which relaxes me. Xx

  • Hi emily, we could be twins! How do you manage to get back to sleep once the midnight worrying starts? I'll be wide awake for hours until about 30 mins before its time to wake up then I get sleepy. Typical!

    Meditation is a good idea, I've tried a few mindfulness things before but never really got into it. I will check that app out :)

    What protocol will you be doing this cycle? I am on a short one which I'm pleased about as will use less annual leave up if I do want to have time off! Wishing you lots of luck for March, let's keep in touch xxx

  • if you are interested in Mindfulness I would recommend Ruby Wax - Frazzled! its great and gives lots of practical ideas x

  • Thank you, will check it out :) love ruby wax! Xx

  • Hi Strawb,

    It would be good to stay in touch. I am trying to manage my stress. This time last week I was so busy at work but luckily it's a bit quieter now. I'm finding that app I mentioned to be really helpful and I am doing acupuncture.

    I'm doing the short protocol as well with Centrotide. I start with taking Norothisterone next Friday for 9 days.

    What about you?

  • It's the worst thing, you are told not to stress so you stress that you might be a bit stressed. There's no real answe but I recommend hypnotherapy - there are a few tracks on iTunes and even some IVF specific ones.

  • Ha yes it is a vicious circle! I have just received a hypnotherapy DVD so will be trying that out soon πŸ‘ Xx

  • Always always do what's right for you. Some people say being busy helps and others it doesn't. TBH it depends on your job. I'm like you and have massive stress. I went back 4 days after ET and had a bfn. Don't blame work as it it just wasn't meant to be but I struggled in work with it all. Next time I'm self certificating and then asking a doc to sign me off. I feel guilty but this is my last NHS chance and work will always be there xxx

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