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IVF - Taking time off work

(30 Posts)
smithknp Fri 12-May-17 14:58:28

Hi, I am due to start IVF treatment next month. So far I have the following dates which would require me to go to the hospital -
20/06/2017 - Baseline scan and blood test
24/06/2017 - Day 4 blood test
26/06/17 - scan & blood test
28/06/17 - scan & blood test
30/06/17 - scan & blood test
week commencing 03/07/17 - EC

I have decided that I am not going to be telling work about IVF but I don't know what to do about having time off work. I can't book the whole time off because I do not have enough annual leave to take and it would look strange booking all these specific dates off (which may change anyway if my period is early/late)
I have spoken to the hospital and the only time they have for the scans are from 9-am until lunchtime and the hospital is an hour away from my work.
I was just wondering what everybody else did or if anybody has any advice?
Thanks

JoJoSM2 Fri 12-May-17 16:47:18

I will have enough holiday allowance. However, could you try taking some time off work and getting sick leave for the rest?

GladitsFfriday Fri 12-May-17 16:55:20

Have a look at this blog at the posts that start around 1st Jan. It has some posts about balancing work and IVF. Hope it works out for you.
http://www.moretolifethancheese.co.uk

TipBoov Fri 12-May-17 16:58:32

That's really frustrating, our clinic​ had scans from 7:30am. Are you able to work from home at all?

PotteringAlong Fri 12-May-17 17:02:31

Would it not be easier to tell work?

Orangeseed Fri 12-May-17 17:06:10

Some workplace's will give paid time off for ivf treatment, some don't. I would let your hr dept know and they can help you, they have to keep your information confidential so your workmates won't all find out.

EarlGreyT Sat 13-May-17 00:39:25

For my first round, my egg collection was about a week later than anticipated by all normal standards so I would take the schedule with a large pinch of salt. If you're the opposite of me- I.e. You're a good responder then you may find they want to see/scan/blood test you more frequently to check for OHSS.

I guess what I am trying to say is that with the best will in the world, it can be very difficult not to feel you are forced into the situation of telling work and trying to do everything to avoid doing this may well increase the stress of an already massively stressful process.

smithknp Sat 13-May-17 17:25:11

Thank you all. I feel I can't tell work because my boss will know I am trying for a baby which will hinder my chances of an upcoming promotion (due to expansion I will be getting a promotion in about 5-6 months)
I don't know what to do because I really don't want to stress myself out as I want this process to be as stress free as possible to give me the best chance but I have worked hard to get where I am at work. If My boss decided not to give me the promotion because he knows I am trying for a baby and then IVF doesn't work for me, I would be gutted.

Thank you all for your replies 😊

JoJoSM2 Sun 14-May-17 01:07:27

Sounds like someone might be trying to have her cake and eat it grin

MrsSifB Sun 14-May-17 01:26:36

I've gone through ivf and dates change for appointments depending on your egg growth etc you might end up having more appointments. You seriously either need the time off completely (al or sickness) or to tell your work that you are going through it so they will give you the leave required. If you go through ivf and it doesn't work you will know in a couple of months,could you not just tell your boss that it didn't work and you won't be trying again....and hope they continue with the plan for promotion? (And try again after promotion is in place if you plan too) And if it does work you'll be so wrapped up in staring at your little bundle of joy that you won't miss the promotion I'm sure 🙂

PerspicaciaTick Sun 14-May-17 01:37:41

I didn't say I was having IVF treatment. I told work that I needed to have a series of medical checks which would require me to be late in/take a half day. I did mitigate what I could (so your day 4 blood test might be on the weekend) and tried to get early appointments. I also did some late working to keep my hours up.
My approach with work was basically, I will be needing this series of tests, they are not negotiable but I will do whatever I can to make sure that there is minimal business impact.

PotteringAlong Sun 14-May-17 04:18:24

My approach with work was basically, I will be needing this series of tests, they are not negotiable but I will do whatever I can to make sure that there is minimal business impact.

I suspect t that if the op does that and doesn't tell them it's for ivf then they will draw their own conclusions, possibly decide that she's got a serious illness she's not disclosing, and then promotion is off the cards anyway because why promote someone if they can't do the job?

OP, tell work. Seriously, you're setting yourself up for trouble here. you need to decide what's more important.

Orangeseed Sun 14-May-17 16:16:53

I'd be honest about the ivf, get the time off sorted and make that journey as stress free as possible. They can't make decisions on whether to promote you or not based on the fact you might get pregnant at some point.
In 5-6 months you might be pregnant already and have altered your career plans, (some women feel differently about work) or you may be putting off babies to focus on work......who knows.
I'd focus on the ivf for now, but that's me, promotions come up all the time ivf can be harder to come by.

SanFranDreaming Sun 14-May-17 17:42:09

I have done a few cycles.
The first, I did my best to get early morning appintments and took a week of annual leave for the expected egg collection and it worked out fine.
The next time I did the same but I also had to call in sick for another day, as my protocol had changed and I miscalculated.
I then realised that it was time to tell work - it was the right time for me to make that decision. I wanted desperately to keep it all a secret from work, but I feel much better now that a few people know, who have been extremely supportive.
Emotionally, as more time has passed and I have not been successful, during cycles, I find I can't concentrate on work, which is obviously a huge issue when I have a public facing job. I decided to take a full 2 weeks off work this time.
Everyone's experience is different, and everyone has different issues and relationships at work are different, which makes it so hard to decide!
Good luck with it all x

smithknp Sun 14-May-17 18:56:53

Thank you very much for your replies, they are very helpful 😊

MrsDarcy4092 Sun 14-May-17 19:49:05

I totally understand where you are coming from and also wont be telling work. There's sadly a real chance ivf won't work and so I understand why you want your promotion and don't think that means you want your cake and eat and frankly think that comment is rude and insensitive.

How are your company regarding sick leave? I'm lucky that my baseline scans and fu scans are at 7:30 but my egg collection I'm going to call in sick for.
I think I would start with hr as they have likely suppprted many people through this previously and can offer advice.
Good luck

MrsDarcy4092 Sun 14-May-17 20:00:12

There is a real undertone reading all
The comments on this thread that you have to chose ivf/baby or career which I think is sad.

cluelessnewmum Mon 15-May-17 08:11:13

I agree with MrsDarcy that you shouldn't have to choose between promotion or baby, esp if ivf doesn't work this time. Agree OP is not trying to 'have cake and eat it' - it's 2017 - women can aspire to both a successful career and motherhood.

I understand why you wouldn't want to tell work, I wouldn't either. You could make up another excuse that doesn't make people guess it's ivf or think you're ill but you'd have to be a good liar.

E. G. Could you say that you have to temporarily care for a sick relative (eg parent) as usual carer can't for whatever reason, and so discuss unpaid leave or wfh with your boss /hr for that period? Then you make it clear that it's a temporary situation and not to do with your health?

Good luck with the ivf

JoJoSM2 Mon 15-May-17 08:28:58

Mrs Darcy, I'm sorry you find my opinion rude and insensitive. I do stand by it, though. IVF is stressful and testing enough in itself. I don't think it's a brilliant idea to go through it whilst trying to get promoted/change careers/change houses/build extensions/do other major stressful things etc. Women going through IVF tend to have another 25+ years of their career left so plenty of time to get promoted several times. Personally, I wouldn't choose to put myself under all that stress in one go and would view it as trying to have my cake and eat it. However, perhaps some women can cope with an IVF + pregnancy or another round whilst putting in the extra time and taking on new responsibilities at work at the same time.

OP, sorry for going off-topic - good luck making the best decision for yourself.

sparechange Mon 15-May-17 08:39:59

How far is the hospital from your office?
Most clinics do the bloods and scans early (7am onwards) so that you can get to work

I had exactly the same reservations as you regarding promotions and bonuses, so kept all my rounds secret from work.

I was lucky that I have the sort of job where I have breakfast meetings and coffees so was able to add those into my diary to cover some appointments, and the rest were 'doctors appointments'

I was 'lucky' that my pre-ivf tests picked up a thyroid issue so I alluded to needing lots of blood tests to balance my thyroid medication, which they seemed to buy. It depends a bit on your job/boss as how vague you can get away with being though!

And JoJos comments are the biggest pile of misogynistic crap I've read on here in a long while.

sparechange Mon 15-May-17 08:43:18

Oh sorry, just reread your OP and it's an hour from work. That's not ideal!

Is working from home a possibility? If you say you have some issues with your house that require you to let workmen in on a few different days, and then you'll come in at lunchtime?

smithknp Mon 15-May-17 09:40:17

Hi, once again, thank you for the replies.
Me and my husband have been trying for a baby for over 4 years with over 3 years of doctors/hospital appointments and minor operations for them to finally put it down as 'unexplained infertility'. We want nothing more than to have a baby (One of my best friends who has been with her boyfriend a few months and wasn't particularly trying for a baby yesterday told me she was pregnant) so I really don't feel as if I am "having my cake and eating it" right now.
I have decided not to tell work. I share an office with just me and the director - who is a business man without any children of his own. I hear him congratulate people on pregnancies.. and then I hear what he actually feels after putting the phone down. He is a nice guy, but obviously pregnancies are not always easy for businesses to deal with depending how easy the role is to cover.
I have a weeks annual leave. My baseline scan is at 9:00am so I am just going to say I have a dentist appointment that morning and will be a couple of hours late which I will make up. I will book the week of my expected scans/bloods off which will hopefully be flexible enough to fit them in and then fingers crossed, I will only need one day for the transfer which I am sure I can think of an excuse for..
I like the home renovations excuse because I can say I am having the week off as we are having the whole house re-floored etc and then if I need a couple of days off the following week, just say that it has taken longer than expected and take a couple of unpaid days off.
Me and my husband want nothing more in the world then to have a baby and we are so excited at the thought we have even this small chance to be parents, but after much disappointment along the way, I have to be realistic about the fact that IVF has less than a 50% chance of working.

MrsDarcy4092 Mon 15-May-17 12:48:17

You do not need to explain yourself OP.
Persuing a career and a family (however that family is made) is never having your cake and eating it. The two things are not mutually exclusive and haven't been since the 1940s.
Best of luck to you

Sprogletsmuvva Mon 15-May-17 20:25:50

A few years back, I had in the space of a year: worsening mystery ill health that was eventually diagnosed as fibroids; totally mishandled by GP/NHS leading to stress; huge myomectomy; clinical depression. I wouldn't recommend such history as the most enjoyable cover for random turning-up-late for ivf, but it certainly helped sad wink

For your case, yes, the 'renovations' wheeze is probably your best bet. Most employers don't provide additional paid time off for fertility treatment (mine doesn't, and it's a public sector job with otherwise pretty generous t&cs), so at least by going this route rather than the 'medical appointments' one, there is no question of getting more generous treatment than you're 'entitled' to...

(Seeking employment while doing ivf: there is a fair question re whether you can concentrate on promotion if it's literally in the throes of a cycle - tho obviously depends on the individual. But not reasonable to desist just because you might get pregnant. I read a sad story a while back, of a woman whose career never got off the ground because "I might have a baby by this time next year". Her and her husband never got their baby, then her husband died putting an end to even trying. By this point she was in her early 40s, and not many career areas are exactly keen on people who've coasted without apparent 'excuse' for 20 years suddenly developing career-mindedness.)

Wanda354 Tue 16-May-17 06:33:49

There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep your normal life going while you try IVF. Everyone knows that the odds are not favourable. If you put your life on hold while trying, it could send you round the bend as there would be literally nothing else to focus on.

While we had our cycle, I took only a few afternoons off for scans. DP took the whole 2 weeks of stimming off, up to EC. She would not do that again. Although it was good to be able to go for a scan whenever they said, the rest of the time it was boring for her and she really didn't need to be at home. We found that it was possible just to be a bit vague at work and say we needed to be at home to see a plumber, or excuses like that. Obviously that isn't possible in every job, but if you have an office job, it may be. Especially if you can work from home.

Early on in your cycle, the scans will be more plannable. They will tell you when the baseline one will be and will then probably do the next 3-4 days later. DP then had another one every 2-3 days after that, 16 days from baseline to EC (but she started slow).

Good luck!

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