Work & IVF treatment : Hey all, I’m not... - Fertility Network UK

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Work & IVF treatment


Hey all,

I’m not really sure if this is a rant or a question!! I’m starting to feel that holding down a job & going through fertility treatment is pretty impossible!!

We are having our IVF treatment in Greece so had to go over recently for a consultation, scans & I had to have an operation whilst we were there. During our follow up after my op we found out that it’s not actually a ‘forever’ fix - it will come back & so the importance of having the IVF treatment sooner rather than later is huge. Therefore we need to go back next month, the trouble is my job is very difficult to get time off & even more so now we are one person down with them off on maternity leave. I have to put us first, we can’t afford nor do I want to put myself through that operation again so we have to do this now. I said I wouldn’t be going if it wasn’t important & it’s not like I’m going on holiday but am told that what we do in our time off is irrelevant! As if I want this to be happening?!!! I would love to be able to achieve this the natural way but no we have to go through a hell of a lot of heartache & get ourselves into a huge amount of debt at the same time!! I was feeling so positive about our treatment, now I just feel stressed! ☹️ Xx

13 Replies

It’s vile isn’t it having to juggle work and ivf. After 5 rounds and feeling like I have to give each round my all, I feel guilty that work is hindering my chances bringing me stress and tiredness.

You could think about speaking to your GP - mine is happy to sign me off at the drop of a hat. I haven’t taken advantage of it but did get signed off for 2 weeks for my last 2ww citing “anxiety states”. You could consider that? I’ve also previously used a lot of holidays for ivf appointments and treatment which feels horrible.

I’m also a senior manager at my work and one of our staff has been signed off with “gynaecological problems” for 6 months and I’m aware that it’s for procedures needed for her to try and have a baby. But it’s GP sign off, so she is fully entitled to it.

CBOO1 in reply to Orla9298

It’s horrible isn’t it!! There’s no way I’d be able to get signed off, it would cause so much stress - for me & everyone else - there just isn’t anyone to cover, there’s not enough of us.

6 months??? Wow if only!! I’m having a nightmare just getting 7 days xx

Hidden in reply to CBOO1

I hope you don't mind me being so frank. You have to put yourself first. Your work will not collapse without you. I know as good people we find it hard to put additional strain on our work colleagues by not having time off but sometimes it is necessary. Hopeful it's just temporary and you will be able to focus your energy on work when the time is right. My GP recently offered to sign me off for 2 weeks when I got an infection post egg collection ( I only took 4 days in the end) - generally they are really understanding of how difficult this fertility journey is and are happy to sign you off if needed. Please consider it.

It's so unfair that we have to use annual leave or unpaid time for IVF appointments and treatment.

You've said yourself that you must put yourself first and I can't stress enough how important it is.

I know work is crazy and mine is too, really really struggle but thankfully the clinic is close by to my work.

After my bfn in September I went back to work but after a couple of days I had to see GP who wanted to sign me off work sick for 2 weeks as a starting point, I just took 1 week as I knew it would be harder going back after 2 weeks... I've said all of that to say this, whatever you need to do, just do it work will still be there.

I was made redundant last week because of cost cutting exercise (pft 🤔) and after all I have given and the stress I've caused myself by going to work at times that I should have put myself first.

You matter, do whatever you need to do. Xxx

I have a really stressful job, before my first ivf, I was working many hours overtime (not being paid for it), studying and travelling up and down the country at the weekend to visit sick relatives. I am so lucky that my husband and I had the opportunity for me to go part time and my husband is very supportive but I don't know how you ladies go through cycles whilst working full time. Although im part time now, i do use annual leave for appts when they fall on my working days. Ive always been a stressy person and have always had high blood pressure (which is controlled) but I wanted to be able to not have to worry and tell work what I wanted time off for (which would have added more pressure). You have to do what's right for you and your husband and maybe it's something you can talk about and discuss options. Maybe you can see whether you can work from home a couple of days a week with flexible working hours. Im with geten, my work take take take and even when i go in sick, there is no thanks for it. xx

Thank you girls, I’m a beauty therapist & it’s so full on, there’s no chance of any change - unless I left, which out of loyalty I couldn’t do & we couldn’t afford for me not to work right now - getting into more debt with treatment just to add to it. Why is everything involved in this so difficult?!!! Xx

I agree that trying to juggle work & fertility treatments is so difficult.

I am in the middle of my first cycle of IVF. I was signed off by my GP but attempted to go back to work last week. Got sent home today as it was all a bit much.

Everyone is different and had different ways of coping but for me I’ve felt that work (particularly being in a stressful job) is just too overwhelming at the moment. I feel that you need to do what’s best for you - only you will know what feels right.

Good luck xx

CBOO1 in reply to MrsAdzee

I know that one - being around a pregnant person at work & going through fertility treatments has & still continues to be because the constant questions have still not stopped, has been sheer hell!! No way I’d get sent home though, even a day off sick has to be a matter of life or death!! Thank you xx

It sounds like your choices (if you stay at work) are to have your time off and treatment soon, or otherwise to need even more time off for another op and treatment and more stress sometime in the future. Is that right? If so then it doesn't make sense for them to refuse your holiday next month. You're already being generous to them by taking it as holiday and not getting doctor sign off, which you could easily do. If they can't see that then they don't value or deserve your loyalty. Being one person down already due to maternity is not your problem. It's really tough but you know in your heart that you need to put yourself first and do the treatment next month. If you left, what are your job prospects to find something new at a later date? Could you afford to go part time for a while? Wishing you all the best whatever decision you make, but please look after yourself and don't feel you owe them any loyalty if they are not being reasonable. If they are that busy then there is money coming in and they can employ someone to cover xx

CBOO1 in reply to Sarah_S

You’re so very right!! I couldn’t afford to go part time - that’s one worry if this is successful - how am I going to afford to not work but we’ll cross that bridge if we come to it! To be honest I don’t care what I do at the moment, I’m so over my job right now! Thank you Xx

What a rubbish situation to be in, sorry to hear that your work arent more sympathetic. Could you perhaps go out to Greece for a shorter time rather than a week so you dont have to take so much time off? Or could you ask your GP to sign you off for a few days if you cant get annual leave? I do hope you get this sorted out, its stressful enough doing treatment without financial and work stuff on top!xx

Sorry that you’re in this situation, it’s so unfair, like you say you aren’t off on holiday! Working and IVF nearly killed me, for me it wasn’t so much the treatment as work was very flexible, and it was (still is) in London, however the emotional stress of backlog of marking, planing, exam prep (I was a secondary school teacher) was too much to bare. I realised I couldn’t do everything, and as hard as it was I took a sabbatical in January, and left permanently in June. In that time I’ve been freelance, so Home schooling, tutoring, teaching drama workshops, anything that pays the bills, but has no longterm stress. Could you go freelance for a while, and be a mobile beautician? Or ask them to let you go part time? Although loyalty is an amazing quality, no one will thank you for sacrificing something so important for their business! You need to come first now, and don’t feel guilty for that!! Xx

Thank you so much for raising this. Am going through this ivf as a single lady and although family are supportive have felt really overwhelmed at times

Reading this makes me feel less alone and refocus that I need to prioritise me and this journey. Work will always be there am a nurse and at the moment feel I can't deliver 100% to that and to myself as well.

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