Survey Reveals 1 in 4 Women Undergoing IVF Treatments are Treated Unfairly at Work

Photo Credits - Hans Reniers via Unsplash

In vitro fertilization (IVF) can be a physically, emotionally, and financially challenging experience for women. When undergoing IVF, women are required to attend multiple medical appointments, often during work hours. They may also experience side effects from fertility drugs that can impact their work performance. Unfortunately, women undergoing IVF also face challenges in the workplace, as highlighted by a recent survey conducted by Pregnant Then Screwed.

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Pregnant Then Screwed Survey

According to the survey, one in four women undergoing fertility treatment experience unfair treatment at work. This includes being denied time off for medical appointments, being subjected to discriminatory comments, and being passed over for career opportunities as a result of their treatment. The survey also found that women who experience discrimination as a result of their fertility treatment are more likely to leave their job or career.

The challenges faced by women undergoing IVF are not unique to the UK. A report by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology found that women in Europe face a range of challenges when trying to balance IVF treatment with work commitments. These challenges include a lack of understanding and support from employers, as well as financial and emotional stress.

Furthermore, the report highlights the fact that IVF treatment is often not covered by national health systems in Europe. This means that women may be forced to pay for treatment out of their own pocket, which can be a significant financial burden. This can lead to women taking on additional work or working longer hours to cover the costs of treatment, which can further impact their health and well-being.

In order to address these issues, governments and employers must take steps to support women undergoing IVF. This includes offering flexible working arrangements, such as allowing women to work from home or adjust their working hours to accommodate medical appointments. Employers should also ensure that women undergoing IVF are not subject to discrimination or harassment as a result of their treatment.

IVF, Motherhood and Careers

The Women in Work Index report by PwC also highlights the impact of motherhood on women’s careers. Women with children are more likely to work part-time or take a career break, which can significantly impact their earning potential and career progression. This is particularly concerning given the fact that women are often the primary caregivers for children and elderly relatives.

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To address these issues, employers should consider implementing policies that support working mothers. This includes offering flexible working arrangements, such as job sharing or working from home, as well as providing affordable childcare options. Employers should also consider offering support and guidance to women who are returning to work after a career break.

In conclusion, women undergoing IVF face a range of challenges in the workplace. Employers and governments must take steps to support these women, whether through flexible working arrangements, financial support for IVF treatment, or policies that support working mothers. By doing so, we can create a more inclusive and supportive workplace culture, where women are able to balance their personal and professional lives without fear of discrimination or negative consequences for their careers.


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