My GP says they won't be signing me o... - Fertility Network UK

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My GP says they won't be signing me off :(


Just got back from the doctors which I was to attend to see if they would sign me off when I start my cycle of IVF,

She was very blunt in the fact that I wouldn't get sign off unless I'm physically unwell and is proven!

I explained well tried to that it finding this all too emotional and stressful.

I explain that I work with chemicals and heavy lifting she said well then you employment need to do some health risk assessment, i said what then work will let me have the time off she said no there adapt you job to work with you if it's proven that heavy lifting and chemicals will affect you, I said they wouldn't adapt I'd lose my job, and I said I don't want my employment to know of my treatment she basically said well then tell them when your pregnant if it works,

I tried to explain that i wanted to do things differently this time round,

She was rude basically just kept saying just becAuse your pregnant doesn't mean you can't work! I said I'm not pregnant I'm having ivf to try if you listen! And I said it's only through the treatment and 2ww,

She said like I said you have to be genuinely unable to work

Sorry for the rant, I'm just so upset as I so wanted to do everything different this time round :(

Ive not even started my 2nd cycle yet, just this was playing on my mind :(

Has anyone else had trouble with getting signed off?

67 Replies

This has made me really angry and it's what I'm worried about. Can you see a different GP?!

Leesalou in reply to allieb21

Made me really upset!

I've worked everyday of my life since leaving school never ever been sign off sick, so it's not as if it's a habit I do, I know of loads of people signed off sick and there not there just lazy and don't want to work!

If I didn't work with chemicals or heavy lifting it prob wouldn't bother me about working through 2nd cycle although I'd prob be stressed.

I'm going to wait till 27th when I will hopefully get my start date for my cycle and then try again with a different gp!

I only picked that one as she was the one had made me go for ivf again!

Maybe she was having a bad day as she was totally rude and different from when I saw her last year!! Xx

allieb21 in reply to Leesalou

I would complain for making you feel like that.

You don't need to justify yourself at all. You did the right thing. Ivf is so emotional and stressful and all you are asking is help for it to be successful. It's absolutely disgusting! X

Leesalou in reply to allieb21

I think I'm going to, she was running late prob just wanted to get home!! Xx

allieb21 in reply to Leesalou

I honestly can't believe this I think it's rotten.

Also, once you have had ET you are considered pregnant until any test says otherwise. Your work have to accommodate you or you can sue for sex discrimination. I know that doesn't help as the 2 weeks before hand are so stressful. I'm actually so angry right now! 😡 x

Leesalou in reply to allieb21

She said that my work have to do a health assessment thing and adapt to me if it's a problem but there's nothing else I can do he won't pay me just to sit in an office, say I didn't really want to tell anyone else about this cycle I've told my work colleague now, I just thought it be a doodle didn't think she would of be so blunt with the no! Xx

allieb21 in reply to Leesalou

When you start get straight back in there and let your emotions go full max. Let them see how stressed ivf is!!! You can self cert for 7 days without a cert. it includes the weekend x

Leesalou in reply to allieb21

How do you self cert?

I've never done it I'm hardly ever sick, i think I may just go in when I start and cry and refuse to leave till they agree xx

allieb21 in reply to Leesalou

You just call in sick pretty much each day. You should just fill a form in for work then after. Get your partner to go back with you but see a different doctor x

allieb21 in reply to allieb21

Or apparently it's 5 days self cert x

Leesalou in reply to allieb21

Thank you I will have to try that if. I don't have any luck the other way, do they still pay ssp that way though? Xx


This is an absolute disgrace and can't believe another woman having this kind of view with pregnancy, especially with it involving IVF.

See another GP and hopefully they will be more understanding. If not I'd get signed off with stress? As that has to be a reason to be signed off for and not only that but the situation your being put in by your GP could of course cause you to feel stressed.

Honestly I'm disgusted with this! So sorry you've had to deal with this xxxx

Leesalou in reply to Amanda86

Thanks for your reply,I'm going to wait till 27th to get my start date then go again. I feel so angry and upset, just her attitude towards it, she basically said no to stress and emotional only if I was genuinely unable to work, xx

Amanda86 in reply to Leesalou

Easy for her to say when she's not been through it. How can someone be so crule. I'd definitely put a complaint in too xxx

Leesalou in reply to Amanda86

I am. Exactly, just her attitude prob cause she was running behind and wanted to get home! Xx

This is disgraceful. Can you:

1. See another GP

2. Speak to your consultant and see if they will write to your GP?

3. Self cert for 5 days?

Big hugs. What a cowbag. x

Leesalou in reply to emu2016

Thank you for your reply

I'm going to see what my consultant says when I speak to them on 27th to hopefully get my start day,

Self cert how is it that and will I get paid?

Say I have holiday to use but didn't want to use that as I wanted that incase in didn't work so I could have a break away xx

Cyantist in reply to Leesalou

Try to think more positively, and that you wont need a holiday because this will have worked!

What a bitch though?! I was under the impression it was relatively easy to get signed off for ivf, though I was lucky and didn't have a manual job or anything, so didn't take any time off.

Worst case if you can't get signed off, could you book a holiday for a week, then call in sick for the other week? Would that still leave you a bit of holiday for a short break if you need it later in the year?

Leesalou in reply to Cyantist

I'm trying to but everything always knocks me back into negativity!

I thought getting sign off sick was very easy seeing but it's not :(

My job is a bit of everything as there's only 2 of us we muck in,

And I'd hate to work with the chemicals and that affects the drugs etc,

I think I'd have to go sick then holiday as I'm sure if your holiday then sick they can refuse to pay you, I have my full 28 days as luckily I' carried holiday over from last year,

And I had my blood test etc out of working hours xx

emu2016 in reply to Leesalou

Anyone can self certify themselves off work sick for five days. Diane mentioned in on your last post. So, if you have a virus how would you normally be off work? It's the first five days you don't go in to work and after that you need a sick note x

Leesalou in reply to emu2016

I've never ever had a day of sick, I just work if I've got chest infection etc, I'm not genuinely a sick person, and my operations first one I did but that was at a different company, 2nd time I had on a Friday and went back to work on the money as work on a computer, my last one I had done I had 2 days holiday then had 10 days off for xmas, that's why I'm so annoyed as I've never taken advantage of sick note systems!

:-( cx

emu2016 in reply to Leesalou

Well you might have to this time to make sure you rest. But... see what your consultant says later this month xx

Leesalou in reply to emu2016

I will say I want the time off I want to do it different this time without worrying that my work will effect my cycle, I shall update again once I've spoken i to them xx

What a unsympathetic bitch..clearly in the wrong profession..I would not only ask to see another gp but if you have the energy ..complain. This is appalling.

The only other thing to do..again if you have the energy is see her again and stress how her attitude made you feel and be upset and direct..stating what you said above again..never taken time off, stressed with process etc but more I type about seeing her again and saying this more angry I am getting and you need to avoid stress right now do make a dare she..I just guess I feel so bad for you and she needs to know this is unacceptable..if you don't have energy to do it get your partner to do it..why is this all so hard for take care xxx

Leesalou in reply to vic77

Thank you Hun for your reply,

I'm going to wait until 27th when I hopefully get my start date and see what they say when I explain what happen today as she was the one told me to go to them and I'd get sign off, maybe they will write me a letter to help me get the time off that I need, it's difficult time as it is let alone with this, I will be writing a letter of complaint about her as she come across that she could t care less!

And I will see another gp as I doubt it would bother her what I said if I went back xx

vic77 in reply to Leesalou

Good for you..sounds like a plan..I believe in karma so hopefully what goes around comes around in her case xxx

Leesalou in reply to vic77

Thanks xx


That's awful, I would book and see another one and see if they will help xx

Leesalou in reply to Hidden

Thanks for your reply, i will do once I've got my dates on 27th xx

Hi. Just trying to think round this one for you.

What chemicals do you work with?

I do Visits on chemical Sites but checked with the dr that it was ok being around benzene and hydrocarbons during the process and he said it's fine. Just the no perfume around the embies type rule applies near the clinics labs.

Can you feign a bad back or something to avoid the lifting for a few weeks?

This assumes you are just wanting to avoid the chemicals and lifting rather than just emotionally have a break from work over the treatment.

A relatively easy way of getting signed off is going on with depression/anxiety. Probably not too far from the truth as this journey is so hard both physically and mentally.

Finally told one of my good friends we are going through ivf and she was like "yeah we are trying for another 6 months and if it doesn't work we will do that" she hates needles and hasn't even researched into what's involved. Don't think people understand unless they've been through it x

oh my god, i am fuming reading this, what an absolute cow. as if you need this stress on top of everything else - how dare she!

i agree with the other ladies - do not accept this. you can self certify for 5 days, you can pick up the form from surgery or even a pharmacy.

after that I suggest you make an appt with an alternative human doctor who affords you some compassion and empathy.

your treatment is far too important to jeopardise by working in the environment you described.

please don't let this upset you. i had a similar experience with young female GP at my surgery - I couldn't believe her attitude, she really made me work for my sickness certificate - i felt like i was back at school in trouble with a teacher!

sending love & positive vibes


Leesalou in reply to -noodles-

Thanks you for your reply,

I'll look into the self cert, i will try again after I've spoken to my consultant on 27th, xx

-noodles- in reply to Leesalou

i know it's easy to say, but try not to let this get to you 😘

Leesalou in reply to -noodles-

Thank you I'm already stressing and I've not even started this 2nd cycle! Lol 😂

Have to laugh or I'll cry although I've done that also lol xx

I'm really shocked at this and a little worried I plan on seeing my GP next week also to get signed off and am dreading it! If you go back lay it on thick talk about not coping throw in some physical symptoms and cry lots!! GP was very unsympathetic!! Xx

Leesalou in reply to Oliverl

Thanks I defiantly will and I'll be seeing a different doctor , let me know how you get on xx

Oliverl in reply to Leesalou

I will good luck and don't take no for an answer! It's so ridiculous isn't it. I'm the same as you I've never been off work and this is such a big deal. My job is really stressful and I want to be signed off for the 2ww I think I'll take lots of tears to the appointment xx

Leesalou in reply to Oliverl

Think it defiantly does it just a doctor with a heart!!!

When do you start you cycle? Xx

Oliverl in reply to Leesalou

I've just started stimulation drugs today so all being well egg collection on the 20th I plan on signing myself off for a week and then after embryo transfer I want a sick note for 2 weeks. I'm already worked up about seeing the GP I might go early next week just to see if there in agreement. Go back and talk about the stress/not sleeping/ xx

Leesalou in reply to Oliverl

Good luck and lots of baby dust, and hopefully you get a lovely doctor with a heart that cares, on a post ages ago asking what people did on there cycles through work and lot said that got signed off,

I just think I'm just unlucky with the NHS doctors as nothing really goes right with them & me, xx

Report her and put a formal complaint in!What a bitch!Seriously this has made my blood boil reading this!

Leesalou in reply to Buffy21

Thank you for your reply I am going to complain, made me angry and upset as I thought it be a doddle, just her attitude to it all, x

Buffy21 in reply to Leesalou

Another thought be to change surgery completely?

But yeah you can be ill up to two weeks before needing a sick note. I manage people and I've dealt a lot with sickness absences and you are able to take time off sick without a note. You can take time off sick then go in for few days then be off again claiming you hadn't recovered fully. Don't need the GP!xxx

Leesalou in reply to Buffy21

Not aloud it's catchments in my area it's stupid!

But do you still get ssp that way?

I know it's not a lot anyway but it's better than nothing xxx

Buffy21 in reply to Leesalou

In my work you do providing you been working for company 2 years. Check your company hand book or HR. The other option which is what I did was to take some unpaid leave under speacial leave policy as i didnt have amy holidays left.I lost £283 in last months pay but it was worth it.Best of luck with it🍀xx

Leesalou in reply to Buffy21

Worst case I have got holiday so I'll just use that, I will speak to my consultant on 27th then go back to hopefully a gp with a heat and go from there thanks xx

Can't believe this, that doctor behaved appallingly! I'm so sorry you had to go through this on top of the ivf stress which your GP should have the professional and indeed female capacity to realise is stress enough!

I'd definitely put in a complaint then change gps.

The gps at my surgery have been fabulous, I'm currently signed off with stress at home which is no word of a lie for any of us going through this.

Your current GP however sounds like my previous one who refused to send me for an epilepsy test when I was having funny spells as a teen as he'd decided I categorically didn't have epilepsy... a couple of years later I woke up in hospital having had several seizures, was tested and was diagnosed with what my GP said I didn't have then and there... when a GP lets you down so massively and it can have a potentially huge impact upon your life I'd say it's time to direct your tax payers money toward a GP that you can rely on to support you in the few big needs of your life.

Cuh, it's surprising how worked up 1 GP has made so many people today!

I really hope you get it sorted my lovely and your journey is a success xx

Leesalou in reply to Pookymama

Thank you for your reply,

Very appalling but I'm used to it when it comes to me and doctors, I suffer with headaches monthly lasting 3 days and suffer with dead leg but they can't be arsed to do anything the last doctor re my dead leg told me lack of exercise and to exercise more lol, it seems me and NHS don't get on,

Hope your de stressing at home. Xx

Honestly ur kidding me she gave you a hard time what a rude uncareing human. They dont have a clue.this really annoys me amd angers me.just becuz they r sitting in that big black chair they think theu know everything and they clearlier dont. Im with u all the way. Try and see if u can book an app witha diff gp at ur clinic sometimes other dr r nice and more very sorry for this. I hope u get the time

Leesalou in reply to bibi_16

Thank you for your reply,

Yes very rude and defiantly uncaring! Makes you not wanna bother going again well I won't be seeing her!

I'm going to wait till I've spoken to my consultant and see if there write me a letter and then see a different doctor xx

I haven't any personal experience with this but I would suggest you go back to see another GP and try again. If it doesn't work is it possible to book it as annual leave? Good luck x

Leesalou in reply to KGipp

Hi thanks for your reply, yes I will go back again and try after I speak with my consultant at the end of month, and if it's still a no then I will take it as annual leave. X

So angry on your behalf what an absolute bitch of a GP!! Mine were so nice and signed me off without even going to see them!! And I didn't do anything that could be harmful. I really hope something works out for you xx

Leesalou in reply to LHow81

Thank you for your reply. wish I had a lovely gp like yours I am going to try again with a different gp x

That's awful so sorry you've had to deal with that. I would try to see a different GP who may be more sympathetic to your situation? My GP has said to me in he past if you tell me you don't feel able to work then I have to go with that, it's your call. I am the same my job is very physical and I didn't feel comfortable working after my egg collection and during tww. Luckily my employer was understanding of this and gave me the time off no problem. Could you get the support of your IVF clinic and take that to a GP to help support your request?My clinic said it was valid to have 2 weeks off after collection depending on your situation. Hope you get the support you need xx

Leesalou in reply to moogs

Thanks for your reply. I'm defiantly going to see another gp I'm going to wait until 27th when I've spoken to my consultant and see if they can help me, x

I had exactly the same from my doctor. I've never been signed off work before so she could see I wasn't trying it on. She told me to tell work I was having IVF which I didn't want to do, and to see if they would give me the time off. In my experience GPs have little understanding of what it's like to go through IVF, particularly from an emotional perspective. You can self certificate for a week, I then asked my clinic to write to my gp which they did (for a fee!), but she did then sign me off. Good luck xx

Leesalou in reply to Littlecaz

Thanks for your reply.

I'm hoping my ivf consultant will help me and write a letter to advise I require time off. And then go back see a different book doctor,

As one I saw defiantly didn't have a clue or understanding about it felt like she was judging me for wanted to have the time off, horrid cow! Xx

Hi Leesalou,

I'm sorry it's not worked out for you... but doctors wouldn't sign you off for ivf as you should still be able to carry on as normal.

Did your doctor say that the chemical exposure could affect anything?

At the end of the day people get pregnant naturally doing all sorts of things.

I didn't take any time off after transfer. I carried on as normal.

I didn't need any time while stimming, I made sure I drank loads of water and left work on time to recover in the evening but didn't find it affected me working any other way.

Did get a BFN though but don't think it was related to working normally during that time, rather the usual bad luck.

I don't intend to change it next cycle either...

I supose everyone's different and I'm not sure of the extent of the lifting and chemicals you work with but in my perspective if it's not harmful to you it shouldn't be harmful to conception.

With the heavy lifting maybe someone can help you at work and you can tell your boss that you having a procedure you'd rather keep confidential and cannot lift anything for a few weeks. I think that's more important after transfer though as stimming I felt quite normal and not very hormonal and have been more ratty during my periods...

If you really feel you need the time off I think it's more important after transfer. The periods in between I know everyone is different but working actually keep my mind off things.

Good luck with your next treatment.

Leesalou in reply to Beebeestar

She didn't say anything as she didn't give me chance to explain what chemicals I work with and the affects to the drugs, she just could care less,

Like I said below I another reply, it's not that I don't want to work it's that my mid won't be on the job I will be an emotional stressed mess and working with chemicals that are explosive wouldn't be a good idea,

Loads of people get signed off daily for depression, which I've suffered from and still do it I've never once got signed off sick I just hide it behind a smile,

Wasn't asking to be sign off there and then,

I will speak with my consultant and see what she says about working with chemicals and drugs and if she says no then I'll try and get signed off by a doctor that has a heart, if not then I will use my annual leave,

Thanks for your reply x

I would ask to see a different gp! If u don't mind me saying she sounds like a prize b**ch!! Ud hope a woman would b more understanding!! No one can prove u r stressed, they have to accept what u r telling them so she's talking nonsense!! And she's just added to your stress levels!! I would certainly insist that u need to see another GP!! Good luck Hun xxx

Leesalou in reply to 72cloud9

Thanks for your reply,she wasn't at all she was rude and arrogant and couldn't care less,

I will see a different doctor to see how I get on , xx

72cloud9 in reply to Leesalou

good luck for 27th, hopefully your clinic can guide u and hopefully when u make your next GP appt, you will find someone more sympathetic x

personally, I can tell u I was signed off from work with stress for 2 weeks a year or so back as I had just been to see a terrible fertility clinic and they stressed me out so much that I didnt go ahead with treatment but was so upset by it all that I went to see doctor and ended up sobbing hysterically and he told me I needed some time off to get my head together so if all else fails you maybe need to get your acting hat on when you get in the GP's office, altho as we all know its not difficult to get emotional about this process so you might well find thats a natural reaction anyway.

ps i left my job in motor trade as i was worried about all the fumes and chemicals that would be around me when going thru this so I dont blame you being concerned from a health perspective

good luck xxx

I'm going to be controversial here but I work in a HR department so I'm coming from that perspective. I realise that going for IVF will be stressful and emotional for you. However in essence what your GP has said is right. You went to see her to ask her to sign you off before you've started your IVF and before you get sick. Your GP cannot do that. She can only sign you off sick if you are actually sick and her professional practice is at risk if she were to do that. Also if your workplace found out that you took sick leave when you weren't sick that would be classed as fraud and they could sack you for that.

I supported a woman in a case in my former workplace where she was being paid sick leave and was working (she was self employed as a doula). She genuinely had no idea that this is classed as fraud. She was at risk of dismissal, however I managed to get it reduced to a written warning.

I plan to do my ivf in the next few months and will take annual leave and try and get a few days special leave.

If you want to inbox me feel free.

Leesalou in reply to sanchia46

Thanks for your reply, it's not that I don't want to work, I feel that my work environment I should not work due to heavy lifting and working with chemicals that could affect the drugs! emitional stress, emotional from drug treatment and the emotional mess on the 2ww. I wouldn't be safe working at my place with chemicals if my mind isn't 100% focused.

I didn't go there to get signed off there and then, I was advised by my consultant to see my go to enquire if it is at all possible, and what I'm moaning at more than the fact that she said no is the way she came across which I found it very rude aggrogant and upsetting,

I will go back when I start my treatment and see a different doctor to try again as I feel that in my work environment I would be best staying away from work, if however my boss said come in a sit in the office and answer phone and do office work then I would go in but he won't do that,

Many people commit fraud through claiming sickness from the NHS with pretend illnesses, as I said above I've worked everyday if my life never had a sick day off and I asked for some help for when I will be at my low through a hard time of ivf cycle,

Thanks for your reply and good luck with your cycle,

sanchia46 in reply to Leesalou

I understand however it's difficult as for your own reasons you don't want to tell your employer. Ideally you would tell them so they could make adjustments for you. In that case are you able to take annual or unpaid leave during the treatment.

I think you would have more luck getting signed off for the 2ww rather than for the whole process. I was on long protocol and the whole thing took 7 weeks from first injection to end of 2ww. There's no way I would have tried to get signed off for that long. I think the 2ww is reasonable. For more time, you need to ask once you do get symptoms if they are bad enough to justify it (these could be emotional symptoms of course). I'm sorry but I agree with the doctor, she can't sign you off for the whole process if you're not actually ill. Your work does need to risk assess. Do you have an HR department you can talk to about this? Sorry if I've misunderstood the amount of time you want off, I do sympathise - we all just want to give ourselves the best chance don't we? And the doctor sounds as though she was rude. But I don't think she was technically wrong, in my opinion.

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