When you’re going through fertility treatments, it can feel like you need to put your entire life on hold because of the frequent doctor appointments, time-sensitive medication, and the unpredictability of protocol changes mid-cycle. It seems easier to just cancel your vacation, not go to that wedding that’s out of town, sell those concert tickets you bought last year etc. It feels like you have to choose between your plans and your fertility treatment. But what if you could do both?
Before you cancel your plans, I encourage you to see if you can make it work, because you deserve it! The key is planning ahead and bringing your doctor into the mix with your plans. Based on what you have planned, it could be as simple as taking your injections at a different time of day than previous cycles. However, it could be as complicated as planning to get on an airplane and having to coordinate an appointment local to your destination. Did you know that many fertility clinics will accept a new patient for outside monitoring appointments and work with your home clinic to send the results to your doctor? If your travel lines up with a standard monitoring appointment, your doctor may approve you to be monitored by another clinic. It may be up to you to find a clinic that will accept outside monitoring patients so be prepared to do some homework, fill out some paperwork and pay a small fee but if it means getting to go on your planned trip, it’s worth it!
If your medication needs to be refrigerated, ensure that you have a plan and supplies to keep the meds cool while in transit and at your destination. You can bring your medication on board an aircraft, although each airline has different guidelines for packaging so be sure to read up on those procedures and protocols. You’ll need to inform security that you have fertility medication with you. Be sure to ask your doctor if your medication is okay to go through the x-ray machine. If not, you can request that your bag be manually searched and not be sent through the x-ray. Also, never pack your medication in a checked bag. You do not want to run the risk of the airline losing your luggage. If you are staying at a hotel, call ahead and ensure you will have a refrigerator in your room. They are required to provide one to you for chilled medication if refrigerators do not come standard.
Be flexible and prepared for your doctor to tell you that the trip either needs to be cut short or cancelled altogether if you want to move forward with the cycle. It’s not because your doctor doesn’t want you to go and have a good time. They are only looking out for what is best for the success of the cycle and sometimes timing just doesn’t line up.
This all may seem like a lot of work and being flexible can be difficult, especially if other people are involved but try to remember what your priority is. If you can make it work, take the trip. Go out and have fun and take your mind off infertility for a little bit!