Infertility at workplace
- By Team TDO
Since infertility among the younger age is increasing, it is important that a couple decides an early suitable date to attempt conception. Time and again it has been found that infrequency of intercourse is the cause of delayed pregnancy. It is advisable that the woman has a thorough examination by the gynecologists to identify the ovulation dates and for the man to have a thorough spermatic fluid check. If both are normal then they could wait for a suitable date later. Should there be a problem the quicker it is attended to better. Also, early in the marriage they should start a fund which could be utilized for matters related to conception. For the male, the main treatment covers his personal sex life and a detailed examination of his spermatic fluid. It is the female who has to undergo many detailed tests and possibly surgeries which are expensive. It is often seen that not only the procedures for both take a toll on their personal and intimate relationship but also severely affect their finances which may come to a point that it does not allow them to complete the treatment as for e.g. the woman undergoing IVF may costs several lakhs of rupees.
The treatment of infertility has improved greatly, but interferes severely with the work schedule. Working couples particularly women may have a hard time keeping to their schedules. Depending on their infertility diagnosis, many workplace challenges exist including the need to take time off to undergo tests and other appointments. It is difficult to balance the medical and surgical procedures with daily life and work. This is a difficult issue for many people as they fear their employer may discriminate against them for taking time off from work. Sadly in India there are very few employers who include medical benefits and cost of treatment for infertility.
Suggestions have been given on stress dealing with infertility treatment and work. Here are few pitfalls to avoid:
- Do Your Homework: Review your organization’s HR policies so you understand the amount of leave you have and other policies that pertain to your situation. You may be able to arrange for flex time or work from home on the days of your appointments, so that you do not actually miss any work.
- Be Honest: Go to supervisor and let her or him know that you will be using your leave time and will give as much notice as possible. Honesty is the best policy.
- Remember people are inherently curious about the disease of infertility. If you feel the questions are invasive and make you feel uncomfortable, remember you do not have to answer the questions. You can respond nicely and let them know that you appreciate their concern but you are not ready to answer any questions. Your co-workers are asking question because it is human nature to be curious.
In conclusion, not everyone needs to know what is happening with your reproductive health. At work place should medical help be available do take advantage of it. This treatment has nothing to do with your performance at work. Go to work feeling confident that you will be able to perform your job and handle your workload during this time.