Advice wanted - Sick leave after fail... - Fertility Network UK

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Advice wanted - Sick leave after failed ICSI/IVF


Hi everyone relatively new on here and looking for some advice- we have just found out our first ICSI has failed , I am bleeding 9dp5dt very heavy and BFN on FRER.

We had high hopes for our ‘top grade’ embryo , I am devastated and don’t feel able to function on a basic level let alone work - I work at a school.

Has anyone been signed off / taken time off after a failed cycle ?

Or did you just go back to work ?

I had a blighted ovum MMC last year and feel I rushed back to work too soon

Thanks in advance xxxx

39 Replies

I'm so sorry to hear your news. After my first failed cycle (I didn't even get to embryo transfer), I couldn't have worked either. I actually had taken the whole week off work as I was thinking I'd not be in the frame of mind to work if it hadn't, and all the stress of the embryologist phone calls made it hard so I wanted to rest and focus on me.

That being said, I wouldn't hesitate to use sick leave if I needed it. Give yourself space and time as if you don't ask for it, my experience is that no one else will give it to you, and we need to be a bit selfish through this process.

Best of luck to you and I'm so sorry again that this wasn't the cycle for you. 💕💕

LozTC in reply to minnesota_girl

Thank you for your response so sorry about your failed transfer 😔, I just feel at the moment I can’t face anyone I just want to be on my own.

That being said we have 3 Frosties so I know we are still very fortunate , it just took me so long to recover from my MMC the prospect of having to pick myself up again is just so tough💓💓

Honey08 in reply to LozTC

I’m sorry to hear that. I just had my IVF done last month and it was failed after a week of embryo transfer. I rang my GP and asked for a sick note for 2 weeks as i wanted to be on on my own too. You can ring your GP so you can ask for sick note too.

LozTC in reply to Honey08

Thank you so sorry about what you have been through , I will be making a call to the doctors Monday for sure xxxx

I'm sorry to hear that.

If you feel you need sick leave then take it as that's what it's there for.

LozTC in reply to catgirl1976

Thank you xx

catgirl1976 in reply to LozTC

Is that your kitty in the pic then as he's very handsome!

LozTC in reply to catgirl1976

It sure is 😹 thank you he is my beautiful rescue cat got him when he was tiny ! His name is spooky and he his so precious to me 💓 xx

catgirl1976 in reply to LozTC

We have a very spoilt ginger tabby called baby who is 16!

LozTC in reply to catgirl1976

Aww how lovely ! I love all animals but cats are my favourite , don’t know where I would be without spooky ! X

So sorry for your sad news and your BO.

My advice would be look after number one. I have had 5 rounds of IVF and 3 miscarriages including 3 MC surgeries in the past 3 years (not all IVF pregnancies) and I havent taken any time off work, everything built up and built up and I ended up just imploding/having a full blown meltdown. If nothing else I've learnt its important to deal with your emotions up front, dont try 'soldiering on' as I will just catch up with you eventually

Huge hugs xx

LozTC in reply to Daisy1245

Oh goodness what an awful time you have had I’m so sorry ! Thank you , I am also like this I tend to put everyone else before myself and drag myself into work at times when I know I shouldn’t.


That's it though these things can fester like an untreated wound if they aren't dealt with in an appropriate manner and they build up over time.

Someone I know had a baby that died and then she had a baby very soon after that had happened not having had time to grieve the one that died and many years later she had ended up having a nervous breakdown after things had built up as she hadn't grieved for the one that died.

It's very important to take sick leave if you feel you need it.

So sorry to hear about your ICSI failing :( it's so hard isn't it. I've just had my 3rd failed transfer and my hub and I have decided that for our next one, we will take off the last week before OTD as it seems to be those last few days that totally F me up. I'm lucky that my work are super understanding and will let me plan sick days like that. It can be so emotionally tough when fertility treatment doesn't work, and we need to look after ourselves. As Daisy said, it catches up with you if you don't deal with it. xxx

LozTC in reply to Millbanks

So sorry to hear about your failed transfers 😔 thank you for your advice , I think I have a hard time giving myself a break sometimes so it’s good to be reassured that I’m not overreacting , I am just completely devastated xxx

Millbanks in reply to LozTC

Aww lovely - it's so hard, I really feel for you. But there is still lots to be hopeful for - plenty of people don't have luck the first time round but go on to have success! Don't give up xxx

LozTC in reply to Millbanks

Thanks 🥰 we have 3 Frosties so we are still lucky hopefully we will have success with one of those xx

catgirl1976 in reply to LozTC

Of course you are devastated as you had set your heart on that only to have it snatched away from you at shattered dreams can really hurt and no it's not overreacting at all.

LozTC in reply to catgirl1976

Thank you ❤️My line manager is great and I’m sure she will understand as much as she can , I just put a lot of pressure on myself to be fine I think , I will definitely be taking some time next week xxx

I feel like I’m reading about myself! I’m so sorry that your first ICSI round failed.

Exactly the same situation - I’m a class teacher and assistant head and with the COVID situation, we are under even more pressure than usual. The thing is (and I didn’t tell myself this until recently) we give so much of ourselves. It’s the nature of our profession. However, this time is for you. You need to take care of yourself and listen to what your body & mind needs.

Mine failed at the end of July and I’m so glad that I had the holidays to recover physically and emotionally (as best as one can). I know that people work throughout treatment but teaching is a tough enough job these days. Once you are back, people’s expectations of you will not have changed so go back when you’re ready.

I’m currently doing IMSI and have opted to take special leave - I have feelings of guilt but also have to do what is right for me. School will always be there and will manage.

My clinic asks that I self isolate anyway so I’m using that time for leave and if I need a bit longer afterwards, then I won’t go back until I’m ready.

Remember - this is an emotional time so allow yourself to rest if you can.

Sorry for the lecture but it’s such an important time for you. Do what’s right for you.

Best of luck with it all and if you want to send me a DM, I’m here. Xx

Shazzyb25 in reply to Freckles80

I’m also a teacher and felt guilty for taking time off after a failed cycle but you’re right school will always be there and you need to put yourself first. My gp signed me off for 2 weeks

LozTC in reply to Freckles80

Thank you for taking the time to respond I really needed to hear that , I am so sorry you have had to go through this , I’m feeling the pressure of an extra exam season to organise and I work in a school for students with mental health difficulties which can be stressful at times , I will contact the gp on Monday and hope they will sign me off for 2 weeks xxx

I’m so sorry to hear the news. You were me a week ago. I did take time off and I think it has let me deal with all my emotions I am also a class teacher and remember the class will still be there when you return.. Don’t feel guilty to put yourself first- the gp was very understanding a signed me off for 2 weeks

If you need to chat remember you’re not alone. Sending you lots of hugs x

LozTC in reply to Shazzyb25

Thank you for your reply , really feel for you having to go through this too , you are right work will still be there and they will manage without me xxx

Hello, I'm a teacher at a secondary school and on Wednesday I got a BFN from my first FET with a grade A embryo. I waited to test on my day off as I knew I wouldn't be able to cope with bad news on a school day. I feel better for returning to work this time. When I had a miscarriage last year I found it incredibly hard to not cry at school so took 4 weeks off after getting signed off by my wonderful GP. I think you need to take some time to heal and work will either be a good distraction or too overwhelming. It's still a loss and you need to take time to grieve. My headteacher has been very understanding with time off for appointments, I'm glad I was honest with her about my IVF.

LozTC in reply to Danuelle

Very sorry to hear your transfer didn’t work ! I’m glad work has been a good distraction for you this time around , I always thought I’d want to be signed off during the 2ww but found work a great help over the last 2 weeks. I think now is a good time to take some time out I don’t feel I really dealt with my miscarriage properly last year so taking this extra hard xxx

I’m so sorry your cycle didn’t work out this time 😔

I lost the plot after my first failed transfer and ended up being signed off for about 3 weeks. Like you describe - It hit me much harder than I expected and I just couldn’t m function. I needed it at the time and would say don’t hesitate to ask for time off if you need it. You’ve been through so much physically and mentally, be kind to yourself now so that you can heal. Work will always be there xx

Thank you I feel much more reassured that my gut feeling to get signed off is the right choice , really sorry you went through this too , I just feel so cheated after everything and all the treatment I didn’t even make it to test day xxx

Really sorry to hear your news. I would trust your instinct. Going through this is not just a physical process but an emotional and mental one too, so it’s important you look after you. I had a difficult miscarriage and took 1 week off work. When our 2 ICSI attempts failed I didn’t and I went straight back to work the next day. In hindsight I wish I’d taken the time to look after me. Wishing you all the best for you the future x

Sorry to hear about what you have been through , thank you for your advice I think it is time to put myself first this time xxx all the best

I had a failed cycle in March. Only 2 eggs collected and it took me by surprise how emotional and drained I was once I found out I had no embryo to transfer on day 5. Someone said to me that I still had grief to process and I think they were right.

I kept thinking I would be able to go back to work after a couple of days, but I took a week off, I think. After that, I just wanted to get some normality and have something else to think about so went back to work which is always mega busy.

The crazy increased hormones make it so much harder and emotional too!! Def take a bit of time. You won’t regret it. x x

LozTC in reply to Dinah_lady

Sorry to hear about your failed cycle I think your right there’s a balance of taking time and sometimes you want to get back to normal and keep busy , I will take at least a week I think xxx

I went to my GP when mine failed and they signed me off for as long as I needed. I’m sure they will with you. It’s a hard process. Xxxxx

LozTC in reply to Abbywithag

Thank you I hope my Gp is as understanding ! Sorry you had to go through this too xxx

Hello ladies,

Thank you so much for sharing all your stories! It’s so nice to have all this support.

I took 4 weeks off after my first failed cycle. I think it’s a huge shock to the system to find out that you may never have children ... never mind all the pain, grief and emotion dealing with failed a cycle too.

I felt extra guilty taking all that time off but my GP was amazing and encouraged me to do it! I am very grateful to her for all her support... especially as my manager was awful. I have also learnt the hard way that you have to take care of yourself too and put yourself first sometimes.

Wishing you all the very best Xx

LozTC in reply to Aquarius_hope

Thank you , that’s it , it’s the guilt of being off I am terrible for it I’m always worrying about others as we are a small team , but I think it is necessary I don’t want to go in and have a full on meltdown in work . Really sorry to hear about your failed cycle , all the best xxx

My advice is put yourself first, this journey is so challenging emotionally and mentally. We must look after ourselves. Speak with your GP and get yourself signed off for a couple of weeks. Allow yourself time to grieve, that’s the kindest thing you can for yourself right now. Too often we put on a brave face & March on but in the long term I don’t believe this benefits us. Will you be considering any counselling? Take care of you! Xx

LozTC in reply to jengi

Thank you for taking time to reply , I have had 2 lots of counselling before one when I was struggling with long term TTC and the other after my MC , I found this useful at the time but I’m not sure I can even bring myself to do that at the moment 😔 . Thank you for your help xxx

jengi in reply to LozTC

Big hugs lovely Xx

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