IVF treatment is an emotional and financial roller coaster that can be extremely challenging for couples in more ways than those who have never dealt with infertility could even begin to imagine. One rarely though about, but very real, challenge connected to IVF treatment is getting time off work for all those trips you will make to your fertility clinic.
Taking days off can be hard on your employer, and you may be met with anger... especially if you are trying to keep the fact that you are going for invitro fertilization private. Many workplaces require employees to request annual leave well in advance, and approval may be subject to workplace conditions or other workers' schedules.
Getting time off for medical appointments may be slightly easier, but it is hard to offer proof of a medical appointment without revealing that you are having fertility treatments. IVF appointments are very frequent in only one cycle, and during the monitoring phase you may have to turn up at your fertility clinic every morning for a week. Appointments can be less frequent in some cases, but they are not planned in advance and your fertility clinic may require you to show up with less than 24 hours notice.
Then, retrieval day can happen on any of a number of days and transfer day is another story again! Not only can your transfer day be any of three or four days, but IVF patients are also required to be very minimally physically active during the first 48 hours. This often means the need to take yet more time off work. You may face a dilemma whether to tell your employer and coworkers that you are undergoing IVF. Being open about your fertility treatment could result in more understanding in regard to getting time off when you need it. If your IVF is not successful, you would most likely prefer the fact that you are trying to get pregnant to remain private.
As unfair as it is, the knowledge that you are trying to conceive can have negative career implications. These are some hard questions that don't have any right answers. People who are having IVF certainly benefit from thinking about IVF and their job in advance, to give them time to develop the best strategies for them personally.