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How Fertility Treatments May Affect Your Job

Navigating infertility and treatment isn’t exactly all smooth sailing. Between medications, countless appointments and all else that pertains to your particular journey you likely feel completely overwhelmed. While both partners invest deeply in the outcome it’s primarily the female who carries the pregnancy and endures many of the hormonal and emotional ups and downs along the way.

Since infertility impacts nearly every area of your life it stands to reason your treatment affects everything as well. And considering you likely spend most of your time in your role at work it most assuredly affects your job. Just how fertility treatments may affect your job depends on a lot of different factors such as any surgical procedures you may need, recovery time for other procedures, and your physical ability as it relates to your job. Here, we examine all the ways fertility treatment may impact your day-to-day duties and what you should expect.


How Your Treatment for Infertility May Affect Your Job

For those trying to conceive through fertility treatments, the stress is high. Juggling a job along with the demands of your treatment and the emotional toll is difficult. Depending on how understanding your employer and team members you may choose to let them know. Who to tell and how much is entirely up to you. But remember, it might be difficult and only add to your stress if you decide to keep the journey to yourself. Also, depending on treatment, it might be impossible.

Medication May Affect Your Job Performance

Medication affects everyone differently. You may experience a few minor inconveniences, or you may find the hormones make you ill. And there are different hormonal medications required at specific times. There are certain medications you’ll use for maturing several eggs at one time and specific medication for releasing your eggs for egg retrieval. Many of the side effects may be noticeable or affect job performance. Common side effects include:


  • Abdominal pain
  • Sissiness
  • Nausea
  • Weight gain
  • Sensitive breasts
  • Nausea
  • Swelling
  • Skin rash
  • Irritability


You’ll Need Time Off for Appointments

Depending on the duties of your job, the treatment you choose may require some schedule changes and time off. For instance, if you decide on IVF, timing is extremely critical. There are appointments assessing your egg production and pinpointing the best time for egg retrieval. Your IVF cycle lines up with your own natural menstrual cycle so precision timing is key. Also, procedures such as egg retrieval and embryo transfer require time off from work, possibly one or two days for recovery.


Physically Challenging Work Should Pause

There are also circumstances when you must curtail some physical labor for a time. When you begin hormonal medications to stimulate egg development your ovaries swell. There is a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) that affects some women undergoing treatment for infertility. OHSS occurs when the ovaries swell and become painful. At this time, it’s imperative that you avoid any kind of physical activity that involves twisting, bending, lifting, and straining around the midsection.

Most cases of OHSS resolve with rest and limited exertion. There are some instances when the pain becomes so severe, however, you need medical attention immediately. With some cases of OHSS, the ovaries may sustain damage, blood clots may develop, and you could experience breathing difficulties.

The risk of OHSS is fairly low, but it does happen. That’s why you must limit any heavy physical exertion during treatment involving ovarian stimulation. If your job requires a lot of physical activity, be sure your doctor is aware.


Treatment Impacts Your Partner Too

For the other half of the couple, fertility treatments may affect their job as well. A supportive partner wants to be there at those major appointments like the egg retrieval and of course the embryo transfer. After all you are in this together.


Plan Time to Deal With The Outcome of Your Treatment

Finally, should your IVF or other treatment not end in success you’ll need time to grieve and move forward. Don’t be afraid to take a day for self-care if you are able. It’s essential to your emotional well-being.


Before Anything Else Find Out Your Rights

Before you do anything regarding alerting your employer make sure you know your rights. As we mentioned, certain factors may make work more difficult. Alerting the right people helps alleviate some of these concerns. Only you know, how your employer may react to the circumstances of your fertility treatment.

Insurance coverage varies widely depending on your state of residence and your employer. Check with HR regarding family leave policies as well.


Let Us Help

One out of every eight women face issues when it comes to conceiving a baby or carrying a pregnancy to term. Many of those who experience infertility seek treatment to conceive and carry a baby to term. If you’re among those women, you already know having the support of those around you is crucial. Make certain you understand how fertility treatments may affect your job and what you can do.

Considering treatment for your infertility? Please contact LA IVF today. We’ll help you understand the ins-and-outs of your specific treatment and what to expect.


TEL: 310-286-2800 | FAX: 310-691-1116