IVF cycle and time off work

What did everyone do on there IVF cycle regards to working ?

My first cycle that was unsuccessful and durimg the cycle from start to finish I went to work as normal and went to appointments then returned to work.

My 2nd cycle I hopefully starting end of April/May , and After a lot of reading of the internet I'm debating wether to book the time off work whilst doing my cycle of IVF, I know it's just pure luck if it happens but I want to try and do the better option

But the internet is full of mixed reviews some say plenty of rest and relax and others say carry on as normal,

So just wondering what everyone else has done or intends to do?

And if you did have time off was you honest with your boss? Or just book a holiday?

45 Replies

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  • Hey there

    Like you my first cycle failed and I worked through the whole thing. The only time I took off over the whole thing was the day of egg collection and the day after.

    I think work really helped keep my mind busy, which I am thankful for as I am a massive over thinker. This time I'm taking a bit more time off, but not the whole cycle time as I don't do a physically active job.

    I have told my immediate line Manager as we are very close and my Assistant so they can cover for me. I feel if you can tell those closest to you it does make the process slightly easier, as the stress of making excuses can be just as hard as the process!! I found those that didn't know were asking why I kept having mornings off.

    Lots of luck for your second cycle. I've just started mine. 🀞🏼🀞🏼🀞🏼


  • Thank you for your reply,

    I'm a big over thinker too, and yeah my excuses are running low,

    Good luck on your 2nd cycle sending you lots of baby dust, keep us posted, I've got to wait until mid April to start mine as my last blood test show not amune to my rubella so I had that re done on Friday and now gotta wait a month to test if amune then fingers cross it is and I can be on my way with my 2nd try of IVF


  • I hope your blood tests come back ok and you can get going with your second cycle.

    Wishing you lots and lots of luck. Fingers crossed it's second time lucky for us both. 🀞🏼 Xx

  • Thank you, and yep hopefully 2nd time lucky for us both and everyone else xx

  • Hi Hun. I had a failed cycle November gone. I took EC, ET plus 3 days off. Well I called in sick as I'm a teacher.

    Most people above me knew about my situation e.g head and deputies. I struggled near end of treatment and then during 2ww being in. Have decided this time that I'm going to get signed off. I'll actually do most of it during 2 week easter holidays but then if everything going to plan, won't go back in for 2ww and will see a doc instead about being signed off. It's my last NHS cycle.

    Everyone says keep busy but think it depends on your job. I'm in a tough secondary and I'm a head of year. As soon as I go in I don't have a moment so I believe this time I need a complete break from it all.

    It's best to weigh it up on how you believe you will feel xxx

  • Thank you for your reply,

    Yes your job would be best for you to have the time off ,

    My job is different everyday could be quite in the office or helping production, lifting etc. There's only me and my other colleague that works there, she is also a family friend and my mums next door neighbour, but I've chosen to only confied on my little sister and a friend and my husbands parents, as they funded my private treatment that was unsuccessful, and I find the fewer people that know I haven't got he questions when it doesn't work,

    I've got to hurry up and decide as my colleague will need to find someone to cover me while I'm off I guess, I think I'm going to have a good think way the pros and cons and decide by the end of the month,

    Good luck and wishing you loads of baby dust for your next cycle of ivf xx

  • Good luck in it all my love. Don't feel guilty if you do stay off or if you do go in. Every situation is individual.

    All the best and keep in touch x

  • Thank you you too x

  • Hiya I told my manager and HR straight up. I worked time up prior to starting for appointments. I took 2 x days annual leave as all I have left this time of year and 3 days after EC and 2 days after ET. That has worked for me but I work 8 min walk from work and I work in an office so I have no commute and my job is not physical demanding.

    I do extreme cardio exercise and given that up has without doubt been the worst for me. I've suffered from eating disorders and anxiety regarding good so cutting down to walking and yoga whilst going through IVF had made me feel slightly depressed!

    I'm testing Friday. I bloody hope it's all been worth it!


  • Thanks for your reply,

    I'm thinking I'm going to have to confide in my work colleague and be honest it be funny when I tell her as all my time off excuses, from headaches to my sciatic being so bad couldn't walk lol, she prob be annoyed if I do because I didn't feel that I could go to her,

    Wishing you lots of baby dust and all the good luck in the world for your testing on Friday, keep us posted xx

  • Thank youuuuu 😊xx

  • Hey

    I always told my managers and hr about the treatment and used all my holiday time in block from the time of the scans before egg collection. I did this as by that time, my body was exhausted and I slept throughout the day too.

    My managers however were not very supportive which caused me to have an outburst after my 4th failed attempt which led me to being unfairly dismissed and now going through a tribunal with them.

    From my experience, I would say be upfront and if you have no holiday, get gp to sign off sick until you're ready to be at work. xx

  • Thank you for your reply,

    I'm lucky I have plenty of holiday left as luckly i carried mine over from last year,

    Sorry you old company wasnt very supportive.

    Have you plans to try again?


  • Not right now. Its been 5 months since the last one failed and I'm recovering emotionally still. I've had a breakdown and now re-gaining my strength. It hurts so much still and I'm now at cross roads with baby/career. It's just so rubbish. xx

  • I bet . It's such a shit situation and I always fine my self asking me the same question! Why me what have I done, I gave up for 6 years after my first failed attempt, as i didn't want to face another failed attempt, I'm trying to stay positive this time and just let be what it be, and deal with it after,

    Best of luck with your tribunal xx

  • It really winds me up when I hear these stories about girls bring unfairly dismissed due to pregnancy or IVF related issues

    Good for you on taking them to tribunal. I know this won't get you your baby but it may give you a pay out to try for more cycles and make an example out of your company on how to NOT treat employees!

    Wishing you win the battle!xxx

  • Thanks. Thats exactly what I want to do, to show I'm not standing for it and they're not treating me like that. I wasn't ever asking for money but now I'm going to take whatever I can get after the way they treated me. Would be great if it'd pay for another form of ivf or a holiday. They're just a bunch of b*******s and i know I'm better off away, just it was so low to do that when I was at the lowest of my life. Karma will catch them xx

  • I totally agree. Both me and my OH are big into HR and employment law and researched the sh** out of this and we know our rights. Our attitude was like bring it on if you are not playing ball we'll have you lol. Keep me posted. I'm really interested in hearing how it goes.

    Oh yeah any get them to pay for holiday and IVF cycle and throw in some back dated sick pay for emotional related issues and mental beakdown. This stuff frightens companies like you wouldnt believe.

    We are as a nation to polite to ask for what we are entirely to.


  • The money wasn't important to begin with, I wanted a 2 page hand written letter for an apology of the treatment towards meπŸ˜‚ They originally sacked me for gross misconduct for an outburst I had. I'm also type 1 diabetic and during the summer months through ivf treatment my work conditions were not right, causing me more hypo's. This is a breach of equality act. Then the ivf drugs effect my diabetes so it's protected and they're trying to say it isn't. I've got doctors notes, sick notes, the lot to prove it.

    They have constantly ignored me and not listened to what happened and the stress I was under. I was also told not to take sick leave ( never haf a sick day in my life) as i may need them when pregnant. They've gagged me through the process and i suffer from anxiety too due to all emotional strain andnot followed their own policies abd procedures.

    My manager is not good at her job too and i told her and her manager that too and they failed to address it which put a huge strain in me as in bigger work load.

    Final step is to write a letter to the ceo of the company, just to make him aware of what is happening in his company, to make sure that the managers names are asosiated in a negative light and to put them in the spot light 😁 xx

  • Hi Leesalou,

    I worked through my first cycle, and I was exhausted, and emotionally drained, and a bit mAd! After it failed I decided the next time I had to be far more chilled. My gp thought it was best to sign me off for the second cycle. I had the first two weeks off work, but they have done a freeze all, so I went back a few days after EC. My GP wants to sign me off again for the FET as I'm a teacher, and its hectic to say the least.

    If you can put your feet up, and focus on what's best for you xx

  • Thank you for your reply,

    I think i will because o know I'll think what ifs if I go to work,

    How far are you on your IVF cycle now?

    Wishing you lots of baby dust x

  • Thank you! I'm just waiting for my period, which will hopefully be next week 🀞🏻and then I can start the meds. We've got one embryo that managed to be frozen on day 5, and it's our last nhs cycle so I am going to lay with my legs in the air for two weeks I think!! Xx

  • Good luck keep us posted on your cycle of ivf,

    I couldn't started mine next month if it wasn't for having to have the rubella again so I'm delayed till mid April/may xx

  • Hi Leesalou, last cycle I took two weeks off but this cycle I'm just taking one as I felt it was too long last time. Both times I've got a sick note. My GP is really good he puts hopsital treatment on but no specifics, however I have been upfront with my bosses about everything.

    Good luck whatever you decide, I hope everything goes well x x x

  • Thanks for your reply?

    Think I will ask for a week off as I get bored easily,

    How far are you along this cycle?

    Wishing you lots of luck xx

  • I'm stuck on this decision too! First fresh cycle I took the full 2ww off, drove myself crazy and ended with a bfp that turned into a chemical. For FET I had 3 days off then returned to work which ended in another chemical, but only knew that as was testing from day 6, but by test date was a bfn. My boss is aware of everything and granted me those 3 days as paid leave, however I'm debating taking the the 2ww off with my upcoming round, not a stressful job, but can be pressurised and not sure if I want those 'god that was a shit/stressful day' feelings that you get with a bad day. Personally I'm going to be selfish and get signed off sick, as too me the 2ww is no holiday! And as much as I could use hols for it, I've had no time off ill other than for pregnancy related issues and both times I'm suffered pretty bad with anxiety in the 2ww and for the days I was in work couldn't concentrate anyway, and not really a job where I can afford to make mistakes. A girl I work with got signed off for the 2ww on her third round and she's due in 4wks! It's more whether I want the long days at home thinking everything through over and over, but at the min I'm swaying more too being signed off, either way I'll be an emotional wreck, but then least I can't blame a bad day at work if I get a bfn! When will your transfer be? I have EC hopefully 15th March x

  • Thanks for your reply,

    That's what I keep thinking do I have it off or go as it be all that's in my mine and I'd be useless at work but then be just as useless at home,

    Not for a while as I don't start my cycle till mid April / May, as it got delayed as mh blood test showed I wasn't amune to rubella and they only pick it up on the last appointment so I've had to have another rubella vaccine and I've got to wait a hole month then blood test and if it shows I'm amune then can start :-)

    Good luck with your cycle wishing you lots of baby dust keep us posted how it goes cx

  • I think this is so individual and I sometimes read about the women that keep working through with envy as I in some way see them as stronger than me. I have a very stressful job with very unsympathetic colleagues and no let up for what you may be going through. I told my boss as I couldn't see a way round it given the unpredictability of appointments and that I make meetings months in advance and I need cover if off. Last time I didn't realise the impact of treatment and keeping working up until the last minute and broke down in front of boss with all the pressure..she sent me home for two weeks then I got the gp to sign me off during two week wait..I could not have concentrated and would have just cried at every meeting..I work in child protection so can be emotional at the best of times. This time around I was much better prepared and my gp signed me off for a month..I am an over thinker too but I just keep myself busy with walks with my dog, swimming, seeing friends for coffee,baking, box sets. I am on day 1 of my 4 weeks off today and as my dh injects me again today and I start my nose spray both him and I said today how glad we were I wasnt working. Each person is individual in this and you have to think what is right for you. I recommend time off to relax and chill then I guess no regrets..wishing you lots of luck xxxx right I am off to get sex and the city box set dug out xxxx

  • Thanks for your reply,

    I see the last bit sex and I was like o that's a bit too much information then I carried on reading lol I hope you enjoyed it,

    Enjoy your time off and good luck with your cycle wishing you lots of baby dust keep us posted on your journey


  • Hey all, once I had a conversation with my boss and he let me work at home. As my position at work wasn't so important( to my mind) I did it at home. Thanks God my boss was a woman who understood me very well, so no problems at that time. But during the next cycles I used to stay at home and had no work. We failed 4 of them, the pregnancy stopped all the time. I don't know the reason of it. now we want to undergo the de treatment, wish it would be my last step and I finally become pregnant.

  • Thanks for your reply,

    Sorry to hear for your failed tries, I hope your next one is your time for you wishing you lots of luck. Xx

  • thank you dear, me too. I'm too exhausted from all these. I know people have failed more cycles but I don't want to. we will go there and come back with the baby, haha

  • Fingers crossed for you and lots of baby dust.

    It is very exhausting and emotionally draining xx

  • Hi I literally only had one day off for EC and that was it. I even went back to work after ET!

    Everyone is different and you just have to do what feels best for you

    Hope it all goes well x

  • Thanks for your reply. Are you still on your cycle of IVF,

    I think I'm going to have the time off I'm going to decide by end of the month,


  • I finished at the end of Jan. I managed to also have scans/bloods done before work which was lucky. It doesn't work like that for everyone though.

    Doesn't mean of course it wasn't stressful but keeping busy is better for me.

    I did get a bfp albeit until I've had a scan I'm a little in denial if I'm honest as I don't want to get my hopes up too much just in case xx

  • I strufdhle to get early appointments so far, but last time when private was loads easiest,

    congratulations, I would be the same I'll prob be in denial until the baby was here lol,

    How long have you got to wait till the scan, ?


  • Hi yes I was private so yes that probably did help & thank you. And yes I can see I'd be that way too judging by how I am now! :-)

    Got it next week....eek very nervous xx

  • Good luck xx

  • It depends how stressful your job is. The 2ww is hard, work can be a good distraction but on the other hand your pumped full of hormones you might not be yourself emotionally, you might not be able to function. Personally I work through scan week, then take one day holiday for egg collection, work through the first week of 2ww and holiday for the final week. Emotionally I can't deal with anything on 2nd week.

  • Thank you for replying, that seems like a good idea, may do that then that way I'm not at home bored and driving my self insane, my job varies day to day ,

    My first ivf was over xmas so luckly it fell over my xmas holidays but his time it's hopefully going to be mid April /May

  • I didn't take a single day off over the treatment period! My egg collection was on a weekend luckily, and I went in on the Monday. And transfer was done in my lunch hour before I rushed back to work!

    I think everyone is different and it depends what you think is best. Has your consultant advised you? Ours said to take as little time off as possible, keep things as close to normality as possible and to tell no-one at work. But I think she was very good at assessing what is best for each individual patient and telling them to do that - I bet she told the next person to put their feet up and rest for 2 weeks!

    I was really glad I didn't take time off in the end, as my pregnancy has been awful and I ended up needing to use that annual leave to reduce my hours each week to a manageable level.

  • Thanks for your reply,

    They've not said test as my cycle of ivf won't start till mid April / may as it's been delayed due to not being amune to rubella which I've now had and got to wait a month for the re test, I was just trying to get opinions on what's best as last time I think i had ec off then worked then had xmas holiday and it didn't work, so I just want to give it my best shot even though it's what's meant to be will be I guess,

  • Hi I self certified for EC/ET week as I knew I would be no good after EC, currently signed off for 2 weeks via GP under fertility treatment, feeling run down and last few days have been tough with severe constipation & fatigue, hopefully will feel better next week but I've booked a GP app incase I'm still bad to ask for another week off, the way I see it is there's no point going back till I'm feeling better as if I went back and then was off again it would class as a 2nd absence on my record, plus I get full company sick pay from day 1, so I can take this time to relax and look after this little embie till test day. I've not been off sick for 2 years and my consultant said I was at risk of miscarriage so I'm doing this for me, not everyone has that luxury or choice but I'm happy with mine knowing whatever the outcome is I did my very best. Hope everything goes well for you xx

  • Thanks for your reply,

    I think I'd be happier to have the time off and then I'd of done everything I could rather than stress with work, it's stressing me out now and I've not started my cycle yet lol,

    How long have you got to wait till your test?

    Wishing you all the luck in the world and lots and lots of baby dust xx

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