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Balancing work and your fertility treatments may be challenging for many reasons. You may have work that requires a strict schedule or a heavy workload. Different employers will have different policies and attitudes toward taking time off. Some managers will be more supportive than others. People also have different preferences on how much they want to reveal about their fertility treatment.
We’ve outlined below a few helpful strategies in balancing work and fertility treatments.
The first tip is to figure out how much time you will need to take off and other accommodations you might need. Will you need to go to early morning appointments or take a few days off after the egg retrieval? Will you need to scale back on extra responsibilities because you’ll be dealing with emotional stress during the treatment? You may have some flexibility depending on the type of work that you do.
It’s also important to decide how much you want to tell your employer about your treatment. That may depend on how much privacy you want, the relationships you may have with your manager and colleagues, and how family-friendly your workplace may be. Some people are open books while others disclose as little as possible. You are under no legal obligation to disclose it. Your fertility specialist can provide a letter without going into detail about the treatment. You may decide to tell your boss that you’re undergoing fertility treatments or simply tell them something like you are going on a new medication and will have to deal with side effects.
You’ll also need to work with your employer about your days off and scheduling needs. While your manager and coworkers may be helpful and supportive, you need to be proactive about making the fertility treatment work with your job. If you have a long commute to the fertility clinic, can you work out a remote work option with your employer? If you need to go to morning appointments, can a coworker cover your shift? If you have appointments during the day, can you finish your work at home later in the evening? Going to your manager armed with a plan will give you more confidence to talk about these issues.
Of course, making sure that you are managing workplace demands during your fertility treatment is important to reducing stress and ensuring the success of your treatment. Now’s probably not the time to take on extra projects. It’s important to take time for self-care during the day and find emotional support – such as a friend or therapist – to help you get through the treatment process.
For more advice about balancing fertility treatments and work, consult a fertility specialist at the Alabama Center for Reproductive Medicine. The ACRM guides clients through every aspect of the fertility journey. To learn more about fertility options at ACRM, call (205) 315-6951 for a consultation today.