Fertility treatment is a full-time job. Between cycle tracking, blood work, dr appointments, ultrasounds, and all the other appointments, schedules, and medications, your mind and calendar can easily be consumed with everything fertility-related. Stepping into your work and career, where you carry a whole other set of responsibilities, adds extra stress and complexities. It's not an easy thing to try and navigate. In fact, according to a recent survey, 30% of individuals affected by (in)fertility said that they had quit a job in the past because their employer did not allow them to get the fertility care they needed easily. So, how do you navigate the fear, stress, and complexities of the fertility journey and your career?
Here are a few things to consider in this situation:
1. Can you be flexible with your work schedule?
If you are working from home or can work from home, this may be a good option for supporting flexibility around your fertility appointments without needing to miss full work days. If that's not possible, can you schedule work meetings or shifts around your fertility appointments? How can we also create realistic expectations because we are not in total control of our fertility medical appointments? How can you set yourself up for success, flexibility, and manageable expectations? It's always essential to make room for what we are going through, which takes it from "impossible" to challenging but possible.
2. What medical benefits do you have with work that you can utilize?
Suppose there is little flexibility possible with meetings and work days. Can you utilize any medical benefits, days in lieu, or sick days for your fertility appointments or mental health days that you may need? The stress of fertility treatments and appointments can weigh us down. Taking those extra days to recoup is essential for physical and mental well-being when we can.
3. Do you have a safe person to confide in at work?
Is there a work friend, supervisor, or manager that you feel safe confiding in so they would be able to support you as you juggle appointments and work? Having someone on your side at work can make a big difference in getting time off, finding a way to reschedule meetings, or moving around schedules. If not, an HR manager may be a great place to consider reaching out to so you can find a way to manage both work and fertility treatments.
4. Have you found ways to connect to yourself daily so you can handle the sometimes tricky situations and conversations at work that can't always be avoided?
We cannot control other people or the situations we may encounter at work. We can control how we support our mental health and well-being on this journey. Finding a community you can be honest with, connecting more with yourself, and learning how to best get through these often challenging situations are helpful tools when navigating the fertility journey.
Remember - every fertility journey is unique. What works for one person may not work for someone else, especially in your specific work environment. Ultimately, you need to do what's best for you and your particular situation. A supportive community and a plan of action will help you as you progress in your fertility journey.
If you are looking for a safe community to connect to on your fertility journey, Moonstone Fertility would love to welcome you! We have many great resources and ways to support you as you walk this often isolating and challenging road. Feel free to learn more here.