Infertility may be the most testing experience of your life. If you decide to go down the route of IVF treatment then prepare for it to consume your life. There are sleepless nights, fights and an ever present feeling of worry. It is normal that the persistent mental anguish leaks over in to your career.
You want to have a family more than anything, but your path to having children is paved with constant road blocks. IVF treatment is a long and arduous journey that can negatively impact your career.
When I want through three rounds of IVF treatment, I decided to tell only a handful of people. Close confidants and family were the only bearers of my most shameful secret. Infertility is one of the biggest weaknesses that a man can show and sharing your most intimate issue causes a lot of shame.
It is hard to tell you closest friend about your infertility and it is even harder to tell your boss. IVF took it’s tole on my relationship and my professional performance. I thought that I was mentally strong enough to handle anything but IVF treatment pushed me to my limits.
IVF Can Affect Your Work
The sleepless nights and fights caused me to be regularly late for work and miss a lot of days. I was called into a meeting to discuss my tardiness and number of sick days. My attitude was always good and I always did a good job but my punctuality and attendance had become an issue. I think my positivity despite my troubles at home were why I kept me in a job.
It would have been so much easier to be open with my employers about infertility and IVF treatment rather than hiding behind my shame. When everything worked out and Olivia finally got pregnant, I told them my story.
If I needed to take time off when there were any complications while Olivia was pregnant it was easier to do. My manager was very supportive and understanding and wished that I had told him earlier. There were times where I had to leave suddenly and my manager gave me all the time in the World.
After everything we had been trough, 7 months into the pregnancy, Olivia’s waters broke. Our twins came 10 weeks early. They spent 6 difficult weeks in hospital and my employers were very sympathetic when I was signed of sick for 6 weeks. I am forever grateful to my company for being so supportive during that stressful time.
Should You Tell Your Employer That You Are Going Through IVF?
When I was going through IVF, I should have told my employer about my situation. They would have supported me as they did when my babies were born prematurely. If you are valued by your company then they should support your during the hard times.
I know how hard it is to go through IVF treatment. I’m also aware of how hard it is for men to talk about IVF. We are not encouraged to share our emotions and feelings. In my opinion this is detrimental our mental health. It is good to talk about your problems and most people will sympathise with your issues.
If I could do it all again, I would definitely open up to my manager about my IVF treatment. It would have made my life a lot easier. If you are going through IVF and you feel that your employer would not support you then you need to think about changing your job. Do you want to work in a place that does not share the same values as you?
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