The Most Successful Fertility Treatments in Trinidad & Tobago Often Comes With A Trip; Here’s Why

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Would you tell your boss you were undergoing fertility treatment?

During a course of in vitro fertilisation (IVF), which typically takes four to six weeks, couples are required to make a number of visits to their fertility centre.

Working women in particular are often unable to complete treatment without needing time away from the office. Negotiating this time-off can be particularly daunting as employees may be hesitant about revealing to their bosses that they are undergoing treatment.

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According to Anna Hosford, Nurse Manager of the Barbados Fertility Centre (BFC) each woman will have to decide how much information they are willing to share with their employers.

Hosford warned however that it was very important that women do take the time needed to dedicate to IVF.

She said, “As a working woman you are committed and loyal and hardworking. When you come to us you are usually in your 30s or 40s and you’ve climbed the corporate ladder and so you have people who are depending on you so it feels like you can’t put yourself first.”

What happens is that some women put their employer first and they try and fit their IVF in around their work schedule rather than giving themselves the due amount of time that IVF does require.”

Working women in particular are often unable to complete treatment without needing time away from the office. Negotiating this time-off can be particularly daunting as employees may be hesitant about revealing to their bosses that they are undergoing treatment.

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Fortunately, Susan (not her real name) was able to negotiate flexible working hours to facilitate her treatment. Before she began her IVF she decided that it would be best to talk to her boss about her plans.

“I knew that I would need to take time off and I wanted to let my boss know that it wasn’t just for selfish reasons or because I was unreliable. Taking that amount of time off could be interpreted as being unreliable,” she said.

I was very nervous about sharing this information with her because at that time I had not even told my parents about it. Thankfully she was very supportive; she was also quite curious and wanted to know more about IVF.”

There came a time though when Susan exhausted all of her paid leave and still needed more time for treatment.

“My first round of treatment failed and I decided to try again but I had already used up all my leave. I was still able to get some no-pay leave. I didn’t want to be rushing to and from work while doing the treatment so I made the sacrifice and took the leave without pay,” she said.

When it comes to requesting time off for treatment some women may prefer to keep the details private.

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A statement from the Human Resources Management Association of Trinidad and Tobago (HRMATT) says employees are protected by doctor patient confidentiality and do not have to share the specifics of their request for medical leave.

The statement said that a request for time off for treatment will be considered as normal medical leave and the employee does not have share that they are taking time off for infertility treatment.

The Barbados Fertility Clinic has tailored its services to meet the needs of the busy career woman. The initial phase of the treatment, which can be done in Trinidad, has a flexible appointment schedule.

Hosford said, “We do early morning appointments, we do lunch time appointments and in Trinidad we do Saturday appointments we really try to facilitate our clients as best we can, knowing that it is difficult enough to be going though infertility without also having to explain to your boss why you need time off.”

Susan, and other clients from Trinidad, journey to Barbados to spend a week there for the crucial stage of their treatment. During this week the clinic performs the final scans, the egg collection and embryo transfer.

Susan said, “It was quite relaxing, and it worked to my advantage because while we were doing this important stage of the treatment I was separated from my day-to-day routine in Trinidad.”

When you’re home you continue with your life as normal and while in Barbados I got to really process what was happening in a relaxing environment.”

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With the warm Caribbean Sea just steps outside the Barbados Fertility Centre couples can bond during the week away from home, far away from traffic and meetings and deadlines.

Hosford believes this is essential.

She explained, “As stress levels go up, pregnancy rates go down, and so people say why do we have to come to Barbados for a week but actually all of the people who come for a week, when they go home they say how much less stressful it was because they didn’t have to ask for time off work that day and they didn’t have to worry about what day their appointments were on, so it works for a number of different reasons.”

Our success rates for our Trinidad & Tobago patients speak for themselves. This is why we are the most successful Fertility Clinic in the Caribbean.

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We combine cutting edge fertility treatments with holistic therapies, resulting in IVF success rates significantly above the UK and USA average.

Thousands of babies have been born since we opened in 2002. With many direct flights from the UK and USA, we're just a few hours away!

Dedicated to fertility… Committed to results

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