Finding balance between life, work, and fertility treatments can be overwhelming. But there are ways to balance your work and social life with your treatments while managing stress and expectations. Achieving work life balance is possible, and this blog will cover how to throw IVF in the mix.
Achieving Work-Life Balance with Fertility Treatments
Communicate with Work
Before you even bring up time off with your boss or supervisor at work, explain to them your situation. Although IVF is a very personal topic, it’s important to make sure that they understand the seriousness of the treatments and the ways that it might affect your productivity. By explaining the process of IVF, your boss will likely be more understanding and willing to work with you and find a balance that works for both you and your job.
Having scheduled visits already booked makes this process much easier. Whether it be early morning appointments or late afternoon visits, a set schedule helps put aside time for IVF. Share your schedule with your boss and see how you might be able to make up for time away from work. Whether it be staying late a few days a week or offering to do some work from home, speak with your boss about the ways you want to stay productive.
Remember, it’s Personal
The IVF process is a very personal one and although it’s important to communicate with work about your scheduling and time off, it’s ultimately up to you as to how much you want to disclose. You’re entitled to take time off of work. If you wish to keep your IVF process private, ask your doctor to write a note. Clinics will often write notes stating that a leave of absence is necessary for medical reasons, but will refrain from providing specifics.
Put Aside Enough Time
IVF can be time consuming and the process can be lengthy, so it’s important to set aside enough time. It’s a good idea to ask your doctors and care team for advice on how much time your specific treatments will require and to schedule visits in advance. By speaking to your care team beforehand, it will be easier for you to communicate with work about the time off that you will be needing.
Make sure you’re also giving yourself some downtime in between treatments and visits. The IVF process can also be stressful and emotional, which is more than ok, but it’s important to allow yourself the time to relax and rest, so that you can find that balance between IVF and work. It’s especially important to give yourself time to recover after egg retrieval. Make sure that you have downtime with your partner as well, as the process can be emotionally tiring at times. Having a clear outline of what time will be dedicated to your IVF treatments will help you balance IVF and working full time.
Managing Stress and Side Effects
Different bodies respond in different ways to fertility drugs and sometimes, it can add to the stress of treatment. The IVF process begins with hormone injections that cause your body to produce multiple eggs, which will eventually be retrieved by your doctor. But these hormone treatments can potentially cause side effects that affect different people in different ways. Do some research and be prepared for the possible side effects.
Stress is never a good thing. But it’s ok to feel overwhelmed. Maintain an open dialogue with your doctors and your boss about how you’re feeling. Stress can affect your chances of conception, as it’s less likely to get pregnant if you’re stressed. So again, make sure that you’re making time for downtime in between treatments and appointments. It’s important to allow your body to rest and recover after retrievals, but also to allow your mind to rest throughout this process as well.
Lean on Support
Having a strong support system can make the IVF process all that much easier. With the stress and emotions that come along with the journey, as well as the possible side effects caused by hormone treatments, there are a lot of things to juggle. Partners should lean on one another for support. There are many ways to support your partner through fertility treatments and it can make the entire adventure less stressful and also more successful. Communicate with one another, go together to appointments, and most importantly, love one another.
The process is personal, so it’s up to you how much you want to share, but leaning on a close friend or a parent can also make the process easier. Having someone to talk to can make all the difference. Distractions are good, and relying on loved ones can alleviate stress and help with finding balance between IVF and work.
Find Time for Fun
While there are many intimidating factors to consider, it’s important to remember that this is also an exciting process. If all goes well, you and your partner will be welcoming a new baby, so find time for fun along the way! Your partner is there for you through this process, but the emotions of it all can be overwhelming at times. So make time for each other. You’re a team! Plan a movie night in or go for a walk in the park. Fall in love with each other all over again.
Everyone’s IVF journey is different and there are lots of emotions and reasons for stress throughout the process. But at the end of the day, something beautiful could happen. Make time for yourself, communicate with your partner, your doctors, and your boss, and the balance between IVF and work is possible. Schedule an appointment with a fertility specialist to find out more about what your individual IVF journey might look like. And remember, balance is possible!