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to tell my boss I am having fertility treatment?

(19 Posts)
Aworryingtrend Wed 06-Jul-11 11:50:46

We have been TTC for 10 months. I had an appointment at the hospital today which work seemed hmm about. However as a result of today's appointment, I have been told I will need a lot more tests over the next two weeks plus a scan.

I know as a rule people don't generally tell their employers if they are TTC but I am wondering if in this case it might actually hep and make them more sympathetic?

What may be clouding my judgement though is that another (male) colleague and his partner recently went through IVF and my boss couldnt do enough for him- let him work from home, have the whole day off for appointments etc.

So, AIBU to tell my boss we are TTC, and AIBU to expect the same treatment as my colleague received when he underwent IVF?

fanjobanjowanjo Wed 06-Jul-11 11:53:53

Are you the lady I take it? I wouldn't tell them, that's just based on my work experience. I nearly didn't get hired simply because I possess ovaries, but no trouble for the lads to nip off to see to kids etc.

mumblechum1 Wed 06-Jul-11 11:54:17

I personally wouldn't tell anyone as it isn't anyone else's business, and you wouldn't want everyone to be forever asking if you're pregnant yet.

I used to have a secretary who underwent fertility treatment for about 5 years and it was heartbreaking that she was forever on a rollercoaster of hope and disappointment. The fact that everyone in the office seemed to know her menstrual cycle didn't help imo.

itisnearlysummer Wed 06-Jul-11 11:54:55

But IVF isn't the same as TTC.

You wouldn't be entitled to whole days off for appointments but you should be allowed time to attend them.

CMOTdibbler Wed 06-Jul-11 11:59:34

I'd tell your boss you have to have some investigations for a gynae problem and leave it at that

kittybuttoon Wed 06-Jul-11 12:01:38

Depends to an extent on your relationship with your employer. Can you trust him/her not to spread the details across the team? (Ask yourself how many people knew the details of your colleague's IVF, and from whom). Are you confident to discuss your private life with a formal acquaintance, especially if your boss is of a different gender to you?

Why not just tell your boss that you need 'gynaecological tests' and leave it at that? If your boss is a good one, you'll get the necessary time off without having to reveal the details.

The thing to remember is that if you are planning a pregnancy, and consequently might leave or need lots of time off, this can impact your career, as a woman - people might look at you differently from a man whose partner is undergoing IVF, because the man won't be going anywhere. Wrong, I know, but realistic.

Good luck with the tests, and hope it all works out for you.

Aworryingtrend Wed 06-Jul-11 12:02:52

Fanjo- to clarify- I am a woman, yes- in my OP it is my male colleague who was given a lot of support during their IVF.

Mumblechum- I would only tell my boss (who is based outside of this office anyway) - it wouldnt be common office knowledge.

Itsnearlysummer- I was allowed time off for my appointment this morning but my boss was not very happy about it and made me feel lie I was causing him a big inconvenince. You are right we aren't at the IVF stage but I have a number of apopoinmtments coming up which i'll need time off for.

Aworryingtrend Wed 06-Jul-11 12:04:45

X-post there, thanks for your input. I guess probably best to say gynaleogical issues and leave it at that. Good point that yes, it was common knowledge that my male colleague was having IVF.

GwendolenHarleth Wed 06-Jul-11 12:05:29

I would tell them so that they are understanding about why you need to take time off for appointments. What happened with your colleague shows that they are sympathetic to this kind of thing. When I had my 3 first tri miscarriages I told my manager and they were good about me taking time off for the actual miscarriages and for hospital appts for investigations and for scans etc with the next pregnancy. Tbh if i had not told them exactly why the time off was needed i am pretty sure i would have been sacked.

worldgonecrazy Wed 06-Jul-11 12:07:59

It really depends on your employer. I now work for a large organisation who are really good at pastoral stuff for employees. One of my previous employers would have taken a more dim view of it.

Nux Wed 06-Jul-11 12:08:41

At my work we actually have a policy regarding Fertility Leave (ie IVF) because this is quite a specific and time consuming process and the company acknowledges that. However, having investigatory tests and scans is not the same. I agree with CMOTDibbler - you should let your boss know that you are having investigations done for a gynae problem and leave it at that. If you find that you do need IVF however, you should expect the exact same treatment as your male colleague.

PaleHandsILoved Wed 06-Jul-11 12:08:48

I would tell them. I fairly recently told my boss that we were having fertility problems, because there were days when I knew it was obvious that I was feeling down and also because I always seemed to be nipping off the doctors. I was worried that he would think I was terribly unhappy at work and was sneaking of for interviews. He was really sympathetic (it turned out he and his wife had had fertility problems, which I had no idea about) and I am really glad I said something. It means I don't feel guilty going off to medical appointments or acupuncture, or worry that he is reading something sinister into it. He hasn't mentioned it or kept asking how it's going, but has been "quietly sympathetic".

kittybuttoon Wed 06-Jul-11 12:09:21

OP, in view of this extra information, I'd definitely not tell your boss your medical details! Keep it all as mysterious as possible, whilst sticking to the truth of course.

If your boss is male, it is most unlikely that he'll want to delve into the details of any 'minge trouble' as a female colleague (who wanted the boss off her case!) once described it!

Offer to provide appointment cards if proof is necessary, and concentrate on getting the clinical help you need, not on your boss's possible prejudices.

PaleHandsILoved Wed 06-Jul-11 12:14:40

of = off

5Foot5 Wed 06-Jul-11 13:30:35

I had fertility treatment, preceeded by months of tests and finally leading to a course of IVF. I did not reveal the precise reason for most of these appointments and let work just assume it was "women's things"

Partly this was because, as a previous poster mentioned, it is a private issue and if it didn't work I would find it upsetting enough without evryone asking me for a progress report.

Also by the time I started IVF my line manager was someone who DH had also worked with and in conversation with DH he had once been very, very unsympathetic about IVF (not knowing we were going in for it this was just general conversation) Needless to say he and his wife had had two children without problems so it was very easy for him to take the attitude that if you can't have them you should just learn to live with it!

MegMez Wed 06-Jul-11 13:50:32

Ditto the plan to be vague as possible – I don’t think you even need to tell it’s gynae – an ongoing health issue that means you need to go to doctors more than usual should do! That way he could assume it’s anything so should treat you in a completely non-discriminatory way.

CaveMum Wed 06-Jul-11 13:56:19

I'm currently in the same situation. I've had several hospital appointments over the last 6 months and am going in for a laparoscopy on Monday.
DH and I haven't told anyone, bar my best friend, that we are TTC as we don't think it is anyone else's business.

I have told my boss and colleagues that I have a health issue that requires treatment. They may have guessed what is going on but I won't be telling them anything more. If we end up going down the IVF route then I might tell them more, but for now it is a private issue.

northerngirl41 Wed 06-Jul-11 14:01:12

I think you may find your treatment quite different from your male colleagues... Simply due to the fact that you'll be taking a lot of time off and he would only be taking minimal time off. It sucks, but it's true.

I'd stick to a vague "women's issues" explanation but also offer to make up the time out of hours/during lunch/coming in early to prove willing. You don't have any obligation to, but I think it shows a level of commitment which your boss will bear in mind when you ask for more time off.

eurochick Wed 06-Jul-11 14:46:21

I'd tell him that you are being called in for a number of follow up tests and will fit work around these etc. I wouldn't tell him what they are for. You don't even need to say women's issues. It is none of their bloody business!

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