Whether you’re undergoing an IUI cycle, traditional IVF, or fresh donor egg IVF, most fertility treatment protocols (excluding frozen donor egg cycles from reputable companies like DonorEggBankUSA) require a substantial portion of your time. In a dream scenario, anyone hoping to start a family could just carve out a few months for treatment before moving on with their lives. However, most people have other priorities to deal with at the same time – like their job.
How are you supposed to balance the trials and tribulations of trying to conceive with the time it takes to not only get your job done, but get it done right?
Luckily, there are five great ways to streamline the process and make your experience juggling work and infertility treatments a little bit smoother.
How Can Fertility Treatments Conflict with Your Job?
No matter how good you are at drawing a line between work and personal time, the reality is that when dealing with fertility protocols, appointments are likely to fall during work hours. That’s a key reason why scheduling can be challenging throughout most treatments.
Not having enough hours in the day isn’t the only issue, though.
Various fertility medications, tests, and procedures can often leave you feeling poorly. This can interfere with your ability to work or do your job correctly.
5 Tips for Navigating Your Professional Life While Trying to Conceive
Despite the scheduling conflicts which can pop up when you’re undergoing treatment with a career, working during the process is possible. There are several ways you can reduce your stress and simplify your experience.
1. Have a Conversation with Your Boss Before Your Treatment Starts
While discussing your readiness to have a baby with your superior at work might not be the most comfortable topic of conversation, it’s vital to creating a balance between your work schedule and treatment.
It can be frustrating for a boss when one of their employees suddenly takes significant time off work. However, by telling them in advance, they’ll be prepared for what’s coming and can work with you to create an adjusted schedule, if needed.
Don’t feel like you have to give your boss every little detail, though. Depending on your relationship, there’s no reason you should need to explain the nitty-gritty of your conception journey.
To go along with this tip, discussing your schedule with any team members who rely on you or who you work closely with can also be beneficial.
2. Ask Plenty of Questions About Your Upcoming Treatment Cycle
Whether you’re using an egg donor or preparing for a traditional IVF cycle, understanding the ins and outs of the treatment process is essential to organizing your schedule.
Not only will this let you plan ahead, but it will also make those conversations with your boss or manager much easier if you can tell them what to expect in the coming weeks and months. Not every part of your cycle will be as hectic as others. For example, during a fresh IVF cycle, you’ll likely require almost daily appointments during your stimulation phase. However, during your initial screening process, you may only have an appointment every week or two.
Using the information provided by your doctor, you can try to adjust your schedule or workload accordingly.
For instance, if you know you have a major report due around the same time as your stimulation and egg collection, you can plan to work ahead of time and finish the report earlier.
3. Find Out Whether You Can Schedule Early Morning or Evening Appointments
Luckily for many patients, many fertility clinics offer a wide range of appointment opportunities. These include early morning time slots and appointments after 5 o’clock.
Using these early or late hours can minimize the amount of time you spend out of the office and away from your day-to-day work responsibilities.
This is especially helpful for pre-egg retrieval monitoring. Your fertility team will likely require regular bloodwork and ultrasounds. Most of these screening appointments can be done early in the morning before regular work hours.
4. Practice Healthy Stress Management
No matter how organized and prepared you try to be, creating a balance between work and infertility appointments and procedures isn’t going to be easy 100% of the time.
Whether you can’t make early morning appointments work – or your boss isn’t willing to be flexible – things will happen that are sure to result in a fair amount of stress. The most important thing to remember is to not let that stress get the best of you.
By practicing healthy stress management techniques throughout your fertility treatment, you’re sure to feel better about the difficulties you may experience. Some popular stress-busting options include meditation, exercise, hobbies, journaling, and spending time with your loved ones.
5. Be Strategic with Your Paid Time Off (PTO)
If you know fertility treatments are in your future, even if you’re not exactly sure what they will be, it’s crucial to use your paid time off accordingly.
Start planning out how you might need to use vacation days, personal days, and sick days throughout your cycle. This will reduce the financial stress of needing to take unpaid time off, as well as making conversations with your boss easier.
You Don’t Need to Choose Between Your Career and Having a Baby
Among individuals between the ages of 25 and 44, approximately 14.3% of them will seek infertility treatment at some point or another. Suffice it to say, a large portion of that group will also be working full-time jobs throughout their treatment.
While managing your job and fertility appointments simultaneously can undoubtedly be stressful, it’s possible and absolutely worth it to build the family you’ve been dreaming of.
Most importantly, remember to be honest about what you require and work hard to create a functional schedule to meet your professional and medical needs.
With any luck, in a few short weeks or months, you’ll be preparing to welcome a baby into your family, and your fertility struggles will be a thing of the past.