Undergoing fertility drug therapy and treatment turns your world upside down in many ways. There are the physical changes your body goes through, the roller coaster of emotions, numerous appointments with your fertility center, and the financial stress – and that’s when things go according to plan. Understandably, many people want to know if they’ll be able to continue working during their fertility drug therapy cycle.
Great news: you absolutely can! In fact, there are many benefits to keeping your daily life as “normal” as possible during fertility drug therapy. You will, however, need to take some precautions to keep yourself as safe and comfortable as possible.
Doctor Knows Best
As soon as you know for certain that you’ll be undergoing fertility drug therapy, speak with your fertility doctor about your individual situation. Explain in detail what your job entails and find out if you’re clear to continue or if there are any recommended changes. For example, the fertility center may want you to switch from full, to light-duty or there may be specific tasks you should avoid.
Knowing exactly what your limitations may be upfront can help you properly prepare and set realistic expectations. Your fertility doctor can also prepare a letter for you to give your employer. This is beneficial if substantial changes to your job duties are recommended.
Honesty is the Best Policy
It may not be an easy conversation. However, it’s important to be open and honest with your employer about your fertility drug therapy. Be calm and confident. Remember that around 1 in 8 people in the United States are affected by infertility. That means that you are likely not the first person in your workplace to go through fertility treatment. There may even be someone you work with going through it now!
What may start off as coming into the office a little late here and there can quickly become much more. Commuting to and from Melbourne to the Viera Fertility Center, waiting for appointments, and trips to the pharmacy all take a substantial amount of time. That’s not even taking into account being on the phone more than usual with your fertility doctor and insurance company, or unexpected obstacles, like needing to reschedule a visit. This is exactly why it’s a good idea to speak with your supervisor about your fertility drug therapy sooner rather than later.
Tell him or her what your doctor recommends and how much time you realistically expect to be off. Be prepared and go into the conversation armed with solutions for how you can make up the time. Perhaps you can work remotely part-time or put in a few hours on a Saturday. If you’re transparent with your employer about your situation, they are far more likely to be understanding and supportive. Plus, they may even have information about or access to resources you aren’t aware of.
Fertility treatments and drug therapies can, somewhat cruelly, mimic many classic pregnancy symptoms. You’re almost certain to be extremely tired, emotional, and nauseous. You may gain a few pounds and experience mild overall physical discomfort. During your therapy cycle, it’s especially important to take care of yourself not just physically, but mentally, and emotionally.
To that end, it’s crucial that you prioritize making yourself comfortable and that you do not overextend yourself. Bring small healthy snacks to work to eat frequently throughout the day. Good choices include mixed nuts, string cheese, and drink plenty of water. If you’re dealing with nausea, sipping on something fizzy like sparkling water or ginger ale can help. During your breaks, practice mindful breathing and take walks, even if it’s just around your building.
Self-care may also mean ordering more takeout at home in lieu of cooking dinner every night. Additionally, getting an extra hour of sleep, indulging in baths, and saying no to some social invitations. Staying healthy and stress-free will ensure you’re more productive at work, plus it improves your odds of successfully becoming pregnant.