Timelines and time off for IVF

Ive decided not to tell my work about my IVF as I feel less pressure without everyone knowing. The problem now is taking time off at short notice. I have quite a bit of holiday to use up and so I am looking to take 2 weeks off to cover the regular scans, EC and ET. Is this possible from the way the timeline works? For me having the time off without the stress of making excuses to work is the best option.

24 Replies

  • Hiya. I'm a teacher so couldn't do it like that so just informed them I had an appointment and needed cover. Nobody asked me why or where I was going. I even took a day off for egg collection which was due to be during half term but got postponed to the first day back. I think if helped me being at work because I had other things to think about. On the other hand, we had a negative cycle so I don't know if you have more success being off work over that two week period. I hope you find a solution. x

  • Thanks MrsC! I am sorry to hear you had a negative cycle, I hope you are able to try again.

    My clinic only opens at 9am and is quite far from my work so even the scans and bloods leading up to EC would be a nightmare. It's been causing me quite a bit of anxiety on top of all the emotions about everything else. Do you think 2 weeks off would cover the scans, EC and ET or is this not realistic? Also, roughly when would I have a good idea of the 2weeks I'd need to take off?

  • Thanks Holly. I think 2 weeks should be fine for the scans checking your lining up to egg collection and transfer if you include the weekend. The one thing I would say though is be prepared for things to change. I thought I was going to have ec on the Friday but they kept me stimming until the Monday. I found going to work helpful as I don't know how I would have switched my brain off from the process for a bit. Work didn't know and neither did anyone else. I said I needed some procedures and just explained I had pre op appointments. Having said that, I did get three scans in half term. I can't do that for the next one so will just have to say I need more treatment. I've booked end of morning appointments though so I can use lunch to minimise the time I'm not there. Good luck with what you decide to do. The only other thing I would say is remember that it's unlikely anyone would guess at work anyway. Because it's at the forefront of our minds we know all of the elements involved but other people don't have a scooby. Just think about all of the insensitive things people say - if they don't have to go through it, they're unlikely to know about it. My sister has three children but openly says I know more about conception than she does because I've had to learn. My very wise other half always says to me that people are also so preoccupied with the events in their life they probably aren't thinking about it like we are. That's not being unkind to the people around us but just realistic. Life is hectic and lost people are just trying to get through each day especially those who already have children. Big hug as you work out what you're going to do. x

  • Great advice and I think you are probably spot on about others not having any idea about ivf and that I would be going off for it.

    I haven't found my clinic to be very forthcoming with info about processes and timelines which hasn't helped. Last time I spoke to the nurse she told me to go away and "read the booklet". I had quite a few questions so this was disappointing. I'm getting more info from speaking to other women going through the process on forums like this than from the clinic. Thanks again for the support here! Xxx

  • Hey, I always wanted my two weeks off for the 2ww. I was like you; I'm not telling anyone because I don't want the pressure or looks. But it got so hard, even on the short protocol with the scans etc. Telling my boss was the best decision, it meant I could 'work from home' in my diary in the morning and make the hours up later. If you don't want to tell it's ivf could you say it's another series of appointments which would be better if you came in later? x

  • Hi Holly 1178, I understand that you don't want to tell people at work. It's a really difficult process anyway and sometimes you don't want to have to talk about it. In terms of taking 2 weeks off... I just checked my diary, and at my last cycle which was a short protocol, everything from the first scan until egg transfer took about 2 weeks, so you could be fine, but the problem is the start date depends on when you get your period and if you are ready at that point in time. So it depends how early you need to book your 2 week holiday in advance. At my place you usually need to give a bit of advance notice for a 2 week holiday. another alternative would be to just tell your boss that you have a 'procedure' coming up and you will need to go to hospital, but you just don't know yet when. I've done that a few times in the past (our journey took a long time) and that worked quite well, too. Good luck!!

  • I decided not to tell my work about having IVF either and I was lucky that my company was ok with having time off for hospital appointments so they didn't ask too many questions. The week leading up to egg collection I had off as I had scans on the Monday Wednesday and Friday was ec day and I ended up booking the following week as well so I had a few days at home after ET. I'm glad I didn't tell work as I don't think I could have coped if everyone knew that it wasn't a successful cycle. I guess it depends on your relationship with your manager and how relaxed they are with having time off. Try not to stress too much somehow it all works out in the end x

  • We're you able to book the week off before EC in advance? I'm hoping to get a rough idea, block out 2 weeks and tell work it may shift a bit which hey willl be fine with. My boss would actually be supportive but I don't really want people knowing should things not work out and then I have to deal with explaining. My husband is taking the 2 weeks off too so we can spend time together. X

  • I was lucky really as that week I had off was our anniversary and we always book the week to go away but as our scans and EC fell that week we just stayed at home together. Work were great as well with me booking the second week last minute. You should be able work out roughly when you'll need the time off it just depends if your body wants to behave or if you'll need extra scans/injections x

  • Thanks for this! I'll have to see how it pans out. Great that the time clinched with when you had your anniversary - less questions asked!

  • Can you tell just your boss or just your HR? You would be within your rights to request that they don't tell anyone else within work? The benefit of that is that, once you have had ET, you count as pregnant from a work perspective, so there is an added level of protection there during your 2ww and for two weeks after, even if your cycle is negative. I don't think you have this legal protection if you haven't told them you have had ET.

  • PS I agree that having two weeks off to cover ET/EC sounds really nice... your clinic are probably the best people to advise you on the timings but be aware that you will still need scans before this and there are no guarantees on dates, as the ladies below say. I went in 3 days before I expected to for EC on my first round.

  • It's completely up to you whether you tell work and request they don't tell anyone. I chose not to because I know it was not kept confidential for someone else. It was at the time but after the ivf was successful, my boss felt it was acceptable to tell people. Whilst this wasn't in a nasty way, confidentiality was broken. I don't want this to happen to us. I feel confidential means confidential and regardless of the outcome that should be respected. You may have more success with this where you work. x

  • Yes I can imagine this happening at my work as it's quite a gossipy environment.

  • I found some of the nurses were quite good at coming up with 'reasons' I could give work. I know as more cycles go on it will be harder but for the first couple I think it's possible to do it without telling them. I hope that helps Holly. It's really tough. x

  • I've already had quite a few tests and scans and just say I have a dr's appointment. As I have back problems my work assume they are for this so it's been manageable but I imagine it would get more tricky the more cycles you have. I might try and speak to the nurse as I have dummy embryo transfer today for more advice. X

  • I think that's a great idea. I hope your practice ET goes ok. I'd continue to let them think it's your back. Frankly the progesterone gives you awful backache anyway so it's kinda accurate. x

  • Yes, it's been a handy cover so far. I think I'm being paranoid most of the time as I'm of a certain age and have been married for a few years so feel like people are assuming something is wrong. As per other comments unreality these people are probably preoccupied with their own lives!

  • It's one of the harder realities to come to terms with. On one hand you don't want anyone to know but on the other, you just wish for those it comes so easily to to have even a small awareness of the turmoil you're facing.

  • Yes that boss was out of order! It's amazing the lack of understanding people in such senior positions can have.

    I've found it easy to tell the world what's going on... but I'm not trying to progress any further in my career, in fact I took a back step so I could go part time. I know this is not an option for so many people, and it's disgusting the amount of discrimination women can face relating to fertility and pregnancy. I hope that everything goes smoothly for those of you who are trying to juggle this whilst keeping it private, I take my hat off to you all.

  • Thanks everyone for the great advice and support. Really appreciate this as feeling quite overwhelmed by everything. X

  • I think mine was over 2 weeks from 1st scan to transfer. It's different for everyone depending on protocol.i would to be on safe side see if u can get away with scan appointments with just getting in to work late or leaving early -u can say u r getting some checks about a health concern-that could cover anything -normally if u say painful periods or something they stop asking!! maybe book 2 days of for EC and next day to recover then use rest of time for ET and rest if you can do it that way

    Best of luck with it all xxx

  • Thanks 72cloud9 for sharing your experience! I think I'll try and get the first scan or 2 as "hospital appointments" then use my holiday from there. I quite like the idea of booking a couple of weeks off and not thinking of work. X

  • That sounds like a good plan! Hope it all goes well xxx

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