I need help. I am so stressed out. I am a floater pharmacist for a large retail chain. As a floater, I have to travel to stores as far as 30 miles away. My shifts are 12 hours long, so with the commute, I’m gone for most of the day. My husband and I are trying to get pregnant, but with my long schedule and undue stress, we have not been able to conceive. How can I become pregnant under such stress? What should I do?
Wanna-Be Pharmacy Mom
Dear Wanna-Be Mom:
It is no surprise that stress can cause anovulation and low libido. If having a family is important to you and your husband, then make it a priority over your career. Ask for time off (as long as a month), cut your hours, or put your career on hold. As a holder of a pharmacist license, you are specially-trained and as long as you keep up with the pharmacy world (i.e. CMEs), you’ll be primed for work when you are ready to re-enter the workplace.
If you cannot put your career on hold, then you should start looking for a different full-time position, preferably closer to home and less demanding. In the meantime, make sure that you and your husband are healthy. Stop bad habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Take your prenatal vitamins now, in anticipation of becoming pregnant. See your OB doctor and get regular check-ups, PAP smears, and let them know of your family plans. Your OB doctor can suggest ways to increase your chances of pregnancy such as ovulation testing, clomiphene, or metformin.
Someone once told me, “A job is a just job. Family is everything.”
About the Authors and Column
Dear Pharmacy Doctor is a column that provides advice on pharmacist-related work/life challenges. Authors include Karine Wong, Pharm. D. and Lois Bui, Pharm. D. Karine has a 10 year history of working in hospital management, and 2 years as a graveyard hospital pharmacist and outpatient pharmacist. Lois has an extensive history working in HR management prior to her pharmacy career. You can submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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