The "Have Your Say" Fertility Survey Results
At Complete Fertility Centre, we know that many of our patients feel the pressure of the stigma that surrounds fertility treatment, making what can already be a trying experience all the more difficult. So, we feel we have a responsibility to use our platform to educate the general public about the challenges faced by fertility patients to try to dispel some of the negative attitudes towards fertility treatment. With this in mind, we recently put a call out for you to share your experiences with us so we could use this information to publicise the reality behind fertility. We've shared the most striking results below...
In relation to balancing fertility treatment and work, 20.48% of survey respondents said they wouldn't tell their boss or colleagues that they were going through fertility treatment. The reasons for this reticence to share with colleagues and management were concerning. Some of the comments included:
It would put my job at risk.
Lack of confidentiality in the workplace.
The pressure of updating them and then the expectation of maternity leave would make things awkward.
Was treated differently when I did disclose previous fertility treatment.
Feel I'll have disadvantage for career progression.
In addition, only 18.07% of respondents felt that their workplace had adequate fertility supports in place and that it is openly discussed. A further 32.53% said that their workplace had some supports but not enough and 27.71% said that they didn't know if their workplace offered any supports. Concerningly, 16.87% said that their workplace had no supports in place and that fertility was not an encouraged topic of conversation. Respondents felt that their company's fertility policies could be improved in the below ways:
More knowledge of flexible working and time off for appointments.
Providing a better policy as:
Policy allows 5 days off per annum and this isn't enough if you're going through multiple rounds.
Whilst my treatment was openly discussed in my workplace at the time of my treatment, there were no measures in place aside from my needing time off for treatment. Whilst it was always granted, it felt rather like I was nipping out regularly for a dental appointment, and I certainly wasn’t emotionally supported.
Despite the above, our survey did reveal some positive news. 26.51% of respondents who are now working from home due to COVID-19 said that they are finding attending fertility appointments easier and 8.43% of respondents saying that attending appointments is now very easy.
Though our survey did reveal that some employers had good policies in place with regard to fertility treatment, the overwhelming conclusion is that there's still a lot of work to be done to ensure that fertility patients have the supports they need. To help make this happen, we encourage you to share the above results with your family, friends and colleagues to help them understand what you may be going through and to instil a greater understanding of the challenges faced by those with fertility struggles in the general public.