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Thread: IVF work and study

  1. #1
    ~Jane~ Guest

    Default IVF work and study

    Hi everyone

    It looks as though I will be starting IVF at some point after July. I just want some opinions from those who have been there and done IVF. I work full time in a fairly demanding job(38 hour week) and I am doing a Masters Degree part time. At the moment it is one night per week and one full Saturday per month, plus all the non contact hours doing assignments etc. My question, could you have handled doing both while you were on IVF or do you think it will be too emotionally and physically draining to take on so much. I am contimplating dropping back to just one unit at Uni instead of the two, which would be one night per week.

    Just wondering your thoughts on this? Part of me thinks that it would be a good distraction although I have found it hard this semester when I get stressed or hormonal and tired.



  2. #2
    Sal Guest


    Hi there, I did IVF in 2004 whilst working and studying (28hrs per week at work, 2 units at uni so needing about 16hrs per week for study). I did find that IVF distracted me from my study a bit (and work, but could hide that LOL) although I ended up with very good grades. The timing is tricky, I got my first BFN from IVF the week before my uni exams so that was very hard to regain focus on study.

    I think it is possible, but you just never know how you're going to react to IVF eg physically you may feel awful and emotionally you may be all over the place. Plus the egg retrieval procedure knocks you around for about a week, and the time required to go for the blood tests etc.

    Someone you could ask is bumblebea, perhaps PM her? She did IVF whilst in a very high stress long hours job and was also doing serious study (she's a doctor).

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Blue Sky Guest


    Hi Jane -

    I'm in a similar boat - working effectively full time and studying part time - plus some IVF treatment to really keep me on my toes!! I must admit, I nearly lost the plot last year after a failed cycle or two however with great friends (online & IRL) and support from my DH, I was able to pull through with good marks and retain my sanity.

    I think it probably depends on your approach to study & work. As Sal mentioned, it can be quite distracting but if you're on top of your study, you might be able to afford to be a little distracted? You may want to consider whether your work & uni is stressing you out - which may or may not have an effect on your cycle. Again, only you can really judge that. And Ithink the jury is still out on the implications that stress plays on IVF cycles.

    I'm not sure that I've been able to help - I hope I've given you some things to ponder. We can look to Sal & Bumblebee as great role models that it can be done!!

    Good luck for your IVF cycle in July - hopefully it will be a success and you'll pass with flying colours!!


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    hervey bay


    I also worked full time and studied whilst undergoing IVF and I found I was very distracted, IVF was all I lived and breathed for the 4 cycles, I started to neglect the most important things in my life such as living.
    I think it depends on your frame of mind, I think my big problem was I worked with babies every day and I found it hard to have a distraction when I was around the babies all the time.
    As the girls mentioned it also depends on how you will cope physically, I wasnt too bad only a little moody, I didnt need long off after the egg collection, I think for me personally it was all the emotional stuff that made it hard for me.
    Good luck with the choices you make, and do what is right for you

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2006


    Hi all,
    I was also wondering about IVF and working so thanks The theory is always very different to how it really is when it occurs. The dr. recommends a book about positive thinking..anyone else read this or think it might help? I think work will be a good distraction from IVF but am not to sure about going to the gym...hmmmmm

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2005


    Well, I'm kind of going through it at the moment. I'm working a 40 hour week in a high stress job (for Queensland Health, so also in the media a lot lately, and lots of internal pressures resulting from that), and also studying part-time via correspondance.

    With work, when I first started down the IVF route, I was acting-up in my boss's position, which involved managing 160+ staff, and had a whole extra team added to it while I was there, so busier than it had been while she had been doing the job. I eventually found it so stressful doing the job + study + IVF/fertility treatments that I lost the plot completely - went to my GP who prescribed 1 1/2 weeks off work completely, following by stepping down from my boss's position and returning to my substantive position, which I did. I told my line manager that I needed to put my emotional energy into TTC, not work, and she was very understanding, thank goodness. I still manage about 20 staff, and have a clinical caseload, so I still find it quite stressful, particularly given the current health environment, but definitely much more manageable.

    Thankfully I do get paid sick leave, and had heaps accrued,so it hasn't been much of problem taking time off for blood tests, scans, and my EPU yesterday. I also work a 9-day fortnight, which means I work 40 hours in 9 days, and get every second Monday off. I actually managed to schedule most of my appts for every second Monday, and some which needed exact timing (like my embryo transfer this coming Monday) have luckily fallen on my day off anyway.

    The study ... well I actually haven't done any since I started this IVF cycle, but got a phone call from the College a few days ago, so I'll really have to knuckle down and finish my last 2 subjects. To be totally honest, my studying really did suffer quite a bit. I was due to finish my Cert IV in February (well, actually November last year, but they gave me a little extension) and I'm still not finished yet.

    As a lot of other people have said, I think it depends on the individual. For myself, if I have to do it again, I wouldn't do study at the same time. Have you spoken to your employer to see how flexible they are going to be when you need time off (sometimes it's only an hour or two in the morning for a scan, sometimes, like after your EPU, maybe a few days).

  7. #7
    Sal Guest


    Cherie, good luck *sending lots of emby growing vibes*

    Yep, I think the general consensus is that one won't know whether what they have on their plate (work, study, IVF) is too much until one tries it. Cherie's suggestion is a very good one, to ensure that you could potentially have work or study that could 'give' a little whilst you are undergoing IVF. It would be reassuring to know that going in IMHO. You may do just fine, there are women out there who don't lose the plot with IVF (in my experience it is those who don't feel such a burning need - they have the desire obviously but not the almost physical 'need' - to have children and hence can cope better if it doesn't happen).

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Melbourne, Australia


    Hi Jane,
    10 years ago I was studying a masters, doing 2 subjects per semester mostly, and working in a full time, full on job. I was living alone and had no husband to have to worry about. I found that stressful enough. I have just done my first IVF cycle and although physically, it has been fine ie. no pain or tiredness, mentally I have found it difficult as I have wanted to focus just on that. I now only work 3 days a week and do have a husband, child and house to look after but all of that has come second for me. over the past 4 weeks. For 3 days around EPU I was a real ***** to live with.
    So I would not recommend you try all 3 at once, however the other girls are certainly correct in saying it depends how you handle things, but as you said
    I have found it hard this semester when I get stressed or hormonal and tired
    sounds like you will be affected.
    good luck

  9. #9
    ~Jane~ Guest


    Thanks for all the feedback, DH and I have had a good talk about it and I have condsidered what everyone has said. It's great to get such honest answers and advice.

    I am going to give it a go. I think the main thing is that I get on top of the workload early in the semester, which I need to acknowledge that I didn't do this semester. I also think that I would kick myself if I don't continue with my course. Basically I lost a few opportunities in my 20's career wise and study wise because I was quite sick with endo all the time so I guess I want to make up for that in a way. I figure that if it gets too bad I can pull back the workload or if treatment and uni workloads clash I can apply for extension. Perhaps I am doing a bit of contingency planning, I really need to have something to fall back on if I don't get pregnant. The other big piece of the equation is that I still don't know what date I will actually start IVF so things might not clash at all and I could be stressing over nothing.

    It's hard though, every arguement or point that I have has a vaid counter argument such as "I need something to fall back on" has the opposite of "I should put all my energy into IVF for it to work instead of spreading my energies so thin"

    Me thinks I thinks too much

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    The flip side of studying and working while doing IVF is sometimes it is nice to have the distraction. I was studying full-time a post grad degree and working about 30 hours a week and had just started IVF. It was hard, dont get me wrong - especially willing myself to pick myself up and go to work, or uni - but once I did pick myself up and start it was almost a relief to have those moments where my brain wasnt totally consumed.

    Im sure all the BB gals will be here when the tough stuff hits. here's hoping you hit the nail on the head first go and graduate into pg forums!

  11. #11
    ~Jane~ Guest


    Here's a practical if not strange consideration. My friend was telling me about her sister who is on IVF but she is not sure what type of cycle. She said for two weeks of the cycle her sister has to take a tablet every night at a very specific time and lie down for an hour. Obviously this sort of regime would interfere with study, even work depending on what hours one works. I have not heard of this before, does anyone know what this would be?


  12. #12

    Join Date
    Sep 2004


    That would be most likely needing to use a progesteron pessary. Usually one in the morning - which is pretty easy because you can just get up an hour earlier than normal then go back to bed for an hour and then the other one is 12 hours later. Some people (myself included) need to take them more often ie. every 8 hours, or every 6 hours depending on levels. This happens after a transfer. Sometimes Crinone is used, in that case you wont need to lay down.


  13. #13


    Hi girls,
    I found this topic really interesting as I'm about to embark on a very similiar journey. I work full time, study part-time distant education and we are just beginning investigations into why we haven't got pg yet.
    I'm a highly strung person, I work as nurse and study but with the support of my DH i'm hoping that i can do it.
    I strongly believe that if you have a strong support network you can work, study and do IVF. It wil be stressful and you will have down days but you have to weigh up what you want and what you will do for it. Such a personal choice.
    Good luck,

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