Balancing your career and fertility treatment: Is it possible?

So, the question is: can you balance your fertility treatment and professional life? Thankfully, the answer is yes.
With a bit of preparation and some helpful tips, here’s how you can manage your career and infertility treatment.

How do jobs complicate infertility treatments?

Before diving into how you can alleviate the stress from juggling your work and fertility, it’s helpful to understand why they complicate each other in the first place.
One of the most significant connections between careers and infertility is that both require a time commitment. For many people, a large portion of their everyday lives revolves around their professional life. Even when you leave the office at the end of the day, work still has a way of following you home.
Sadly, treating infertility can affect our schedules in the same way.
Between doctor’s appointments, lab work, taking medications, and other fertility-related necessities, it can eventually feel like you’re trying to balance two full-time jobs.
In addition, fertility protocols can often leave you feeling under the weather; it makes it that much harder to get your work done correctly and promptly.
The exception to the lengthy time obligations often associated with fertility treatment is frozen donor egg cycles. Since time-consuming processes like cycle synchronization with your donor aren’t necessary and the eggs are already available for use, a frozen donor egg cycle can take as few as four weeks to complete with a minimal time commitment or scheduling.

4 tips for creating a proper work life/fertility balance

Despite the significant time obligations involved with fertility treatments and work, there are ways to streamline the experience and make them slightly less stressful.
If you’re preparing to start a fertility treatment such as egg donation, IVF, or IUI, consider the following four tips to help you make the most of the experience.

1. Talk to your boss ahead of time

Depending on your relationship with your immediate supervisor at work, discussing your path to parenthood might not seem like the most comfortable situation.
Surprisingly, this is one of the best ways to simplify the process.
By communicating with your boss before your treatment begins, you can prepare them for what the coming months might look like.
Explain the time commitment required to undergo your fertility treatment and let them help you create a plan to manage the process.
There’s no reason to go into the nitty-gritty details. Just because you need to talk to your superior about what you’re going through doesn’t mean you need to explain every minor detail.
Give them whatever information you’re comfortable sharing to help them understand what’s involved with overcoming your infertility struggles.

2. Ask about early morning or evening appointments

There’s not going to be any scheduling wiggle room during your fertility treatments in some situations. For example, procedures like egg retrievals need to happen at particular times.
For others, you might be able to work around your daily work schedule.
Since many fertility practices understand their patients work, they often have more accommodating hours. Talk to the scheduling staff at your facility and see if they have early morning hours or early evening appointments that won’t interfere with your job.

3. Learn as much as you can about your treatment protocol

Trying to organize your schedule and routine throughout treatment is much easier when you thoroughly understand what you’re dealing with.
Talk to your doctors and nurses, do research online, or talk to friends who’ve gone through similar experiences to find out what to expect throughout your infertility process. When you have the complete picture of your treatment, you can try to plan work projects and meetings accordingly.

4. Practice stress management techniques

Even if someone implements every tip on this list, there’s one thing you can count on when it comes to balancing fertility and work – the process is probably going to be stressful no matter what.
There’s no amount of scheduling, research, or discussion that can fully prepare you for everything your treatment will entail. There’s also no guarantee challenging situations won’t randomly pop up at work. To help combat the unknown, practicing stress management techniques is crucial.

If you’re not sure what steps to take in managing your stress, the following are a list of trusted options:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation and yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Journaling
  • Socializing with friends and family
  • Communicating with your partner
  • Enjoying hobbies

Creating professional synergy during your fertility process

The key factor in balancing your work and infertility journey is to exercise openness and organization throughout the experience. From remaining open with your boss to managing your stress, there are plenty of ways to help make the process more feasible.
If your procedures seem like too much to handle concerning work, keep one thing in mind: this is a single chapter in your life.
With hope, luck, and science, you’ll be well on your way to starting your family in just a few short months.

by Kristen Bergeron

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