Fertility Issues at Work

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Employees Have Babies - Fact

The fact is that employees have babies. They try to have babies, they try not to have babies, they lose babies and they grieve for babies while many work places just brush the whole topic under a big messy rug and hope that it will just deal with itself.

At Halcyon we understand women’s pain. We have listened to hundreds of women share the uncomfortable truths that go with the reproduction journey and we understand the impact it can have on productivity at work. We hold, in a safe space, the stories of overwhelming trauma and we unfortunately also hear how workplaces were not there for women when they needed support the most.

Below I touch on some of the considerations UK employers should think about for the benefit of all - including organisation productivity and staff retention.

Fertility Stigma at Work

So much of the fertility journey is done in secret in the UK. From the made up excuses to visit the IVF clinic, to the use of awkward phrase like “women’s troubles” as reasons employees give for days off work.

We know that many women want to keep their fertility journey private which we whole heartedly respect but imagine how supported they would feel if they knew there was someone confidential who they could speak to if facing any issue that could impact their work.

Halcyon can step into that role and be an outside safe space to discuss employee fears and problems with a results orientated objective to get healthy, motivated women delivering their very best both inside and outside of work. Wouldn’t it be a positive message that as an employer, you support women on their whole wellbeing journey? It would benefit you long term financially too with loyal and motivated staff as a result.

Reproduction Wows

Reproductive health issues are an important aspect of women's health, and it's important to have access to high quality holistic care and support throughout a woman’s life. Issues that women in your workplace may be experiencing today include menstrual problems, contraception decisions and overwhelming fertility roller-coasters.

Women's sexual and reproductive rights are protected under UK law, but are you doing your bit as an employer to respect the law? HR managers need to be aware of the legal responsibilities and frameworks they work within. If you need to feel more confident in this area, just give me a call.

Mental Health While on the Reproduction 

Anxiety and depression are incredibly common mental illnesses for women experiencing fertility difficulties. All-encompassing thoughts about why they can’t get pregnant, when they can’t stay pregnant and how things could have been can dominate the waking day.

Physical symptoms such as pain, lack of sleep, anaemia from heavy bleeds and worry about the impact on work can really take its toll so the first step as a HR manager is to begin open communication and reduce the stigma around all women’s health issues.

Why is Addressing Women’s Reproductive Health in the Workplace Important?

Days off work due to inflexibility of their workplace around hospital appointments could be avoided with a more open and flexible approach. By working together, I can help you break the taboo around reproductive issues to create a more efficient work environment for all.

Imagine the productivity impact if all of your female workforce felt supported, able to manage their health, fulfilled and understood. Ultimately, as a HR Manager, you have a direct impact on the bottom line by helping to create a supportive and encouraging work environment.

Fertility Has an Impact on The Bottom Line

Money talks. A motivated and inspired workforce adds value to your bottom line. Employees who are dealt with in a compassionate way during life problems are proven to be more loyal and therefore real assets to your business so stop burying your head in the sand and start addressing the tough topics with our help.

Why Are We Not Talking About Women’s Health Issues?

Time off work, low morale, declining mental health and debilitating pain can all occur due to fertility health concerns. At Halcyon we believe it is time we broke the stigma and had open board room level conversations about what women are dealing with in silence. As employers, we need to step up and be there to help.

HR Managers Need to Improve Openness Around Fertility Issues At Work

So what can you as a HR manager do to help?

Firstly, aim to create an open environment to discuss any women’s health issues, however difficult they are to approach. It can start with simply sign posting employees to their GP or to a holistic therapist support provider such as Halcyon.

Operate an open door policy to all issues facing employees. Encourage talking and being open in a nonjudgmental way. Offer support services by engaging with external parties who specialise in helping women through traumatic stages of their life. This will pay for itself via more engaged and motivated staff over the long term.

Need Help with Women’s Reproductive Issues in the Workplace?

I am here to help organisations who would like an expert to guide them through the process of addressing women’s health issues head on, for the benefit of all.

Women’s physical health, mental well-being, relationships, and happiness at work need to be looked at holistically, which is the area I specialise in. If one area in a women’s life is not optimal, it can pull down performance in all areas of her life, including at work.

Taking a holistic approach to women's health is key to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to lead a healthy and productive life. This is where my services can act as a bridge between the needs of the company and the needs of the individual. Once a female employee feels heard and safe, the impact to her productivity and loyalty improves exponentially so why not give me a call today to see how I can help your business.

If you would like to chat about how your organisation can easily and effectively support the needs of the women in your workplace, please book a free Discovery Call here:

About Sarah 

Sarah Darwen (née Coulson) is passionate about women’s health. She was diagnosed with endometriosis in her mid 20s and, having undergone treatment under the NHS unsuccessfully was faced with the heart-breaking news that a hysterectomy was the next (and only) step. She refused to accept that this was necessary and looked for alternatives to help her manage her condition. She’s been managing her endometriosis successfully for those last 20 years - most of those in remission, with only 2 flare-ups in that time.

She now offers training on reproductive, hormonal and menstrual health to managers and staff, as well as effective treatment and self-management techniques to people struggling with their symptoms.