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Unable to tell employer about IVF

(16 Posts)
MrsE2017 Tue 31-Oct-17 10:29:40

Hi,
Sorry if this is an ongoing threat but I couldn’t see anything recent on it. I absolutely 100% can not tell my employer about the fact I’m starting ICSI. They are not a supportive type of employer and it is an exceptional male orientated industry that I work in (it was hard enough to get a job in this industry to start with). I know full well that if they find out they will be unofficially looking for away out (regardless of the fact it would basically be discrimination). Does anyone have any advice on how to go about this. I can’t tell them that it is for hospital appts as they require letters. I also can’t get away with saying new medication monitoring etc as they would require details of the medication due to the nature of my job. In terms of annual leave I have to give 3 months notice.

Justoneme Tue 31-Oct-17 10:37:07

How horrible x

I would go off sick x

Scottishgirl85 Tue 31-Oct-17 10:54:38

That sounds like a really unpleasant place to work... But besides from that, you could ask your clinic to write you a letter saying you will be having gynaecological treatment and will require time off for several appointments. It sounds like it could be tricky for you, which would add to the stress of ivf. I'm thinking longer term too and wondering what they would be like if you were pregnant, maternity leave etc.

We did ivf abroad. I took initial appointments in UK (of which there were only a couple) as medical leave, and then we flew out for an 8 day 'holiday' for the egg collection and transfer, which I used annual leave for. My work would have been very supportive but I decided not to tell them. It was easy to keep it a secret as people just thought we were on holiday. The 3 month rule in your work would make that difficult though as you won't know the dates that far in advance.

Best of luck with the treatment, and please remember it is illegal for them to discriminate. X

cannonball8726 Tue 31-Oct-17 11:05:26

I'm worried about this too. I know it shouldn't be the priority but the thing that scares me most about IVF (apart from the fact that it might not work) is having to have so much time off work. The visits sound very frequent- especially over multiple cycles. Would be good to hear others' experiences.

2014newme Tue 31-Oct-17 11:08:13

I told my female manager and asked her not to tell anyone else.
If it's male dominated you may find you can just say you have some gynaecological issues requiring some appointments and that they don't ask anything more. The difficulty with ivf is not knowing in advance when the procedures will be as depends on follicle development. You can get scanned at lunchtime it's just wc and et

Viviennemary Tue 31-Oct-17 11:19:26

I agree with saying you have gynaecological issues. If they ask for proof could you ask the clinic just to do you a letter saying you are having treatment but not specifying what for. But perhaps that would be identifying in itself. Not ideal but could you take unpaid leave and say it's for personal issues. And refuse to say why. It is annoying you have to do this though.

user1471523870 Tue 31-Oct-17 11:39:28

Sadly, I am an IVF veteran. I had it done in the UK and abroad, in all forms and shapes, and I work full time in a very busy working environment.
They would have been supportive, but I chose not to tell them and I managed to arrange 4 IVFs, 2 frozen transfers and several other procedures without having to tell them.
Some few tips:
- it helps if the clinic is not too far as you can ask for early morning/lunch break/evening appointments. That worked well for me when I had my fist two rounds in the UK. My clinic would scan me at 7,30am or 6pm, with nurses appointments at lunch time etc. When I did it abroad I booked my scans in the UK at a Babybond at you can choose the time you want (they offer scans most days until 7pm).
- you can plan when to have the treatment by taking the pill. Ask your clinic and they will put together a protocol that includes the BCP. Your protocol will tell you how long the treatment will be and when the scans are needed. That would allow you to book time off 3 months+ in advance. In a couple of instances, as I am lucky enough to respond well to the drugs, I was able to time the protocol for a weekend egg collection/transfer.
- I personally never took time off for my IVFs, except obviously for egg collection as you under go GA. But I was up and running the following day, sometimes I even flew home in the evening from abroad. For egg transfer I used to take only half day off in the UK or one day if doing it abroad.

JoJoSM2 Tue 31-Oct-17 12:24:40

The details of your medical history are none of your employer's business so a generic letter that you have appointments to attend should be sufficient. I can't see why they would be entitled to know what meds you're on. If you operate some machinery or something, you could just ask a doctor to write a letter to say that whatever activities won't be affected by meds.

RavingRoo Tue 31-Oct-17 20:32:51

Your GP will write a sick note saying ‘gaenocological issues’ if it’s a NHS referral. Don’t go to the clinic as sometimes their names give them away.

Persipan Tue 31-Oct-17 20:57:12

I've made it through three rounds of IVF and two miscarriages without anyone at work noticing. I just said that I'm not deathly ill so don't worry but that I have a series of short-notice medical appointments.

cherryontopp Fri 03-Nov-17 11:10:42

It's not as bad as you think with regards to time off.

I had 3 days off in total for my procedure. A lot of the bloods you can do before work. They're usually open between 8am-10am.

As PPs have said, you can have a sick note for just Gynaecology issues. If your job is male orientated, if they started to be arsey with you, you could put in a grievance to their head office about sexual discrimination.

E2017 Mon 13-Nov-17 19:07:49

Thank you for all your advice. Stims have started so process is well and truly rolling now.

Pugmumfornow Mon 13-Nov-17 20:50:50

Hi! Can I ask if you are NHS or private? I’m on NHS, although very accommodating, the clinics have set times iv havd 6 appointments so far and not even started injections yet, then I’ll have daily scans whilst injecting, EC and Transfer. The hospital is 30 mins from my office means minimum of 1.5 for each appointment. There is no way I could have avoided telling my work, even people in different departments have started to hint if I’m seriously ill or not x

RubyBoots7 Tue 14-Nov-17 20:32:48

I managed to have two cycles over a year and not tell work for similar reasons. My clinic was a long way from my office (1.5/2hrs).
It was hard!

However, there are certain parts that are trickier than others. There's the bit when you're stimming as you might need scans/bloods every day or every other day. These seem to have to be in the morning. We always went for the earliest appointment. My DH works closer to the clinic so actually he just about got in time. I found ways of juggling it so it wasn't so obvious.

On a couple of occasions, I said I had appointments for a blood test or whatever 'with my GP'. And these weren't questioned.

One time, I booked a block of leave for the stim part. But it's hard because you only know roughly when it will be in advance.

In my experience this was the most difficult time period to conceal from work as it's just so intense.

You'll need a day off for the egg collection as they sedate you. You won't know exactly what day it'll be until right before as depends on how your eggs are growing. But you'll know roughly. Hopefully if you took a chunk of leave, you could time it so it's part of it.

Embryo transfer is a really quick appointment. But it's really tricky to know when it will be as it depends how the embryos are growing and what day they put them back in on (e.g. day 3, 5, etc).

There are a few scans if you get a BFP but they can be any time of day.

E2017 Wed 15-Nov-17 07:28:05

NHS.

thegamblersmrs Wed 15-Nov-17 08:59:53

I’ve just gone through the process and my clinic wrote me a letter including only the drs name and the hospital letter head so it wasn’t identifiable to the clinic itself.

When I had to go off sick as couldn’t do any bending or lifting my gp asked what i wanted on my sick line and suggested ‘recovery from gyn procedure’

I wasn’t needing to hide anything, my boss knew about everything but I know the letters go straight to the admin department and I didn’t want them knowing my business.

Alternatively I’d get signed off for the full process but you’d need to get your gp to agree to signing you off long before is really needed as in the initial stages you’re likely able to work. Maybe take a week or two holiday and then go off?

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