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Time off work - Doctors Note

(19 Posts)
Panda12345 Wed 08-Mar-17 18:59:38

Hi all
I have a dilemma and am hoping someone can give me some advice.
My husband and I have been referred for NHS treatment however this coincided with me starting a new job. We've delayed starting a couple of months but are due an appointment soon to start the process for EC in a few months. As a side note, I'm only just realising how long it takes to get to the EC stage!
Anyway, during a conversation with my boss about annual leave today she made it very clear that due to internal deadlines no holiday will be able to be taken in the month we are due to have EC... (The actual deadlines are the next month but this is her way of working. She wants me there for 6 wks of prep!)
Having already delayed we don't want to delay any further and also with it being NHS I have also had rumblings from the nurses about funding withdrawn if you leave it too long.
So my question is, how likely is it to get a doctors note for the period of EC to ET? Ideally I was hoping to give them some sort of prior warning that I have an operation or something booked at least. Is this possible??
Any advice would be great. It's really stressing me out what to do!

toffeepuddin Wed 08-Mar-17 19:28:12

I definitely think you would get a sick note off the doctor for EC. Some GPs give can you upto 8 weeks off. There's no saying how you'll receive act to the drugs and after EC etc. Your employers have the right to say no holidays but obviously not sick. The hospital or GP will give you a sick note for it x

Panda12345 Wed 08-Mar-17 21:02:57

Thanks, I'll see if the IVF doctor is able to provide me with a note ahead of time so I can prepare them for me being away. If not it'll have to be last minute sick which I feel like will be frowned upon and I have a feeling I will be the worst lier if I have to pretend to have had a 5 day sickness bug etc... I'm currently happy to only have the days that I NEED so hopefully a week would cover that, and then I can get back in time to meet those deadlines... Joy!

freelancescientist Wed 08-Mar-17 22:35:08

It's unlikely your hospital doctor will give you a sick note, it is generally your GP who signs you off, just to warn you. Certainly at the unit I work at that is the process.

IronyFreeAnnie Thu 09-Mar-17 14:25:57

Good luck. Might be worth sounding out your GP ahead of time. Mine refused to sign me off (apparently "normal" women don't get any special treatment so he didn't see why I should, despite my pointing out that these "normal" women hadn't been sedated, then had extra stress of waiting to see if anything had fertilised, on top of all the effects of the drugs)! Fortunately my boss has been fab about me taking unpaid days off - I don't get sick pay.

2014newme Thu 09-Mar-17 14:33:48

Egg collection to embryo transfer is about three days. You don't need a sick note as you can self certify for the first five days. However My treatment was private and on departure from ET they automatically gave you a sick note for a week. I would imagine they would be happy to do this at NHS too or just call your gp and get one.

I had four cycles of treatment before mine worked. I would advise telling your boss in advance that you need to have a planned period of absence for a gynaecological procedure. I actually told my boss the full story but appreciate you may not want to do that. If they have already said nobody can be off then, don't drop them in it by not telling them in advance you will be off.

Good luck

2014newme Thu 09-Mar-17 14:37:16

When I finally got pg after 4 cycles of ivf my gp signed me off for the first three months of pg. He was lovely, wrote us a lovely letter when we eventually had twins saying how pleased for us he was. A sympathetic gp is very helpful

Panda12345 Thu 09-Mar-17 15:46:50

Thanks for the extra info. A note for some sort of procedure would be ideal. Then I can give them a heads up and try to get ahead of my work. I'm inclined to think it would look suspect if I had all my work in a handed over state ahead of unexplained sick but I may well be overthinking it!
My NHS ivf is through a private practice so hopefully they will be happy to give me some sort of note. I will still be in probationary period so won't receive any sick pay either but I'm more interested in keeping things moving. Maybe a quick call to the nurse could clear my head of these questions a bit while I'm waiting for my next appointment

GoodLuckTime Thu 09-Mar-17 16:01:02

er, you don't need time off between egg collection and embryo transfer?

Just a day off for egg collection, maybe two depending on how you react to anesthetic. Only trouble here is you won't know until a few days before when this will be. the one I had that fell in the working week I just called in sick, but you could tell your boss you're having a medical procedure which requires a day off and are waiting for confirmation of when that will be.

then work as normal. No need for a day off for embryo transfer, it doesn't take long. If during the working week, I've just put it down as a medical appointment, go and come back to the office. Again, only trouble is you won't know exactly when. could be 2-6 days after eggc collection.

If your clinic is further away guess you may need the day off for travel.

But if a normal office job you don't need a full day off otherwise for egg transfer otherwise, and not for the days between egg collection and transfer.

I'm staggered people get sick notes for this. My clinic has not suggested (private) and it has not occurred to me to ask for it.

GoodLuckTime Thu 09-Mar-17 16:03:36

that said, what is trickier is fitting in the scans which come around with increasing frequency prior to egg collection.

next round we do I may well book some leave for those, as I've had enough of juggling commitments to fit them in.

Not planning to take sick leave as I'd rather keep our treatment private.

Blueroses99 Thu 09-Mar-17 17:31:50

I had a sick note for 10 working days for my first cycle starting on day of EC. With hindsight, I needed at least 5 days. Obviously the day of EC (Monday). I was overstimulated so felt very ill for 3-4 days afterwards (I couldn't make myself a cup of tea let alone go to work). I was on standby to go into hospital on day 3 (Thursday) for ET but when I got there the embryos were said to be doing better than expected and to return on day 5 (Saturday). Hospital is nowhere near work so it would've been stressful trying to juggle both. I felt that I could have returned to work the following week but I had already been signed off for 2 weeks as I was suffering from anxiety too.

Second cycle I took a week of annual leave. Still overstimulated so felt very ill, and also on standby to go in on day 3. Feeling fine when I returned on Monday.

Third cycle also annual leave. This time I wasn't overstimulated so felt much better after EC and was booked in for day 5 so could actually do other things in between EC and ET. Based on prior experience I wouldn't have known this however!

So my recommendation is to have 1 weeks sick leave. While you can self-certify for up to 5 days, I'm not sure if this is practical with work if you are needing to book this in advance.

Good luck with the treatment xx

Panda12345 Thu 09-Mar-17 17:42:51

My initial intention was to take the time off as holiday but this doesn't appear to be possible, therefore I'm left with sick leave. My clinic have told me 2 days for EC and a half day for ET. Unfortunately my clinic isn't even in the same city as work so popping out at lunch isn't an option. Rather than phone in sick for two seperate periods in a week I feel more comfortable with taking 5 days say and would be back in the day after ET.
I'm able to do scans at a satellite clinic closer to work with early appointments so hoping I can get away with that one causing little disruption!
Stressing over this is at least distracting me from stressing over the medical side of things!

Panda12345 Thu 09-Mar-17 17:44:34

Thanks for the luck!

PacificDogwod Thu 09-Mar-17 17:47:12

Of course you can have a medical certificate (Med3) from your GP if you are medically unfit to work - the form is a legal document on which your doctor confirms the above phrase.
I think you have to wait and see how things unfold.
Med3s are not appropriate because of inconvenience or appointments clashing. I think you'd be best to be very open with your employer about what is going on in your life and usually there is a way around it. ?Unpaid leave ??exception to the 'no annual leave' rule.
If you are unwell (for instance overstimulated) then that is a whole other ball game.

Blueroses99 Thu 09-Mar-17 18:50:44

Medically unfit to work can legitimately include the procedures, recovery time and stress though, especially because of the unknowns of an IVF cycle i.e. reactions and timings. Would have thought it'd be a waste of a GPs time to have multiple appointments to get multiple notes. You are entitled to time off work for medical care but with IVF it's not as if we get appointment letters to wave in front of HR.

Bibs2014 Sat 11-Mar-17 23:44:14

I told work I was having polyps removed and told my GP I was having ivf and signed me off for two weeks.

iwillbemummy Sun 12-Mar-17 22:51:32

I did tell my manager that we were having IVF, but I told other colleagues I was going in for an operation.

I received a sick note for 2 and a half weeks after EC from the IVF consultant at the fertility clinic. I was overstimulated and couldn't have gone back for about a week and was so sore and bloated. I did have a 5 day transfer and we have been very fortunate that this worked for us in the first cycle. I truly believe the time I had off contributed to me being calm and relaxed which helped my state of mind, and in effect must have helped the process.

It sounds difficult with it being a new job, but I suggest talking to your fertility clinic as they would have a process for this.

Belle82 Sun 19-Mar-17 01:22:36

Quite surprised at one of the comments on here.
Although I had been told i would need around three days off after egg collection, I absolutely like you looked into how I could take that time off, in the end I said what other women on her have that I was having a procedure and there were no more questions asked. The clinics are so used to giving letters of "required bedrest" they didn't bat an eyelid when I asked.
I appreciate there are some ladies on here who are not badly effected by the stimulation drugs, and I wish I were one of them, I unfortunately was admitted to hospital with severe OHSS after 7 days of agony. So to say er you don't need time off between EC & ET, it is not unheard of to need more than the 3 days most clinics say is needed.
Some people live in a bubble and can't see how one set of drugs might affect one person differently to how it has affected them.
You are absolutely doing the right thing by looking into this now and I hope your experience is a good one, but at least if you prewarn your boss or HR that you might have a procedure coming up and have the letters from your clinic to back that up then you should be ok.
My company has that policy on one month of the year too, so I feel your pain 😉
Good Luck xx

bananafish81 Sun 19-Mar-17 11:34:53

Just depends how you go. Everyone reacts differently

Some people get OHSS with a relatively modest number of eggs retrieved

I was lucky and didn't get even slightly over stimulated despite a substantial haul of 28 eggs

I was sore the following day, but 48h after collection I was at a work conference. Admittedly I looked like a space hopper I was so bloated, but I felt fine

Everyone is different and you just don't know how you will respond. Unfortunately as with everything in IVF, nothing is predictable

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