The Hidden Truth About IVF Clinics: What You Need to Know
September 18, 2023

If the world were perfect then everyIVF clinicwould be as good as any otherIVF clinic, and you could takeIVF treatmentin the nearby local clinic, and be confident that you would get equally good medical care, irrespective of whether you do it locally, or travel to Mumbai, India’s medical capital. But the sad truth is that not all IVF clinics are created the same. This is true for many reasons.

Not all IVF laboratories are equally well equipped; many doctors are not equally qualified; and many embryologists lack the skills needed to nurture your embryos.

Today, many IVF clinics are run by doctors who call themselves IVF specialists but are really not, because they don't have the training or experience or the expertise. Often these doctors wear multiple hats, and do multiple other procedures other than IVF, such as laparoscopies; hysterectomies; and cesarean sections. Obviously, the amount of expertise they have is much less as compared to a full-time IVF specialist who does nothing else other than IVF.

However patients aren't sophisticated enough to understand the difference, and this becomes even more of a problem in the IVF laboratory because what goes on in the lab is still hidden behind an iron curtain. Most labs are manned by poorly trained IVF embryologists!

And it makes a world of a difference as to how good the embryologist is, because while a good embryologist will nurture your embryos with a lot of care, a bad one can kill them with even more ease. But patients don't know how to differentiate between the two, and the irony is that patients only learn the difference between a good clinic and a bad clinic after they've failed anIVF cycle and this is a tragedy because they only learn the hard way because it's only after the cycle has failed that they realize that there's lots of stuff about IVF which wasn't shared with them.

Now when they start an IVF cycle and they're signing up for treatment, the doctor is on the best behavior, everyone is very welcoming, they keep on promising them high success rates and they're very sure that they're in good hands but it's only when the treatment starts that they realize that all the information is being hidden from them and they have no idea how many follicles are growing or what their E2 levels are and even after a pickup they don't even know basic stuff like how many eggs were retrieved or what their quality was.

Most of these clinics don't even bother to share embryo photographs which means patients are completely in the dark and have to rely purely on what the doctor says, most doctors are extremely paternalistic and most patients are very compliant and they're happy to believe what the doctor tells them. But it's when the cycle fails that they finally wake up especially when the doctor starts adding insult to injury and blames them for the cycle failure by saying things like oh it was your eggs which are bad or Your sperm which are bad or We need to use donor eggs or donor sperm that they then finally go on the internet and look for information as to what a goodIVF cliniccan do and then they realize that they were taken for a ride by which time, of course, the harm has already been done.

Not only do they feel that they've been cheated they refuse to trust any other IVF doctor and it's sad that patients only learn the hard way.

The good news of course is you can learn the easy way without burning your fingers by doing your homework and your research by learning everything about IVF before paying a single naya paisa to an IVF clinic. The right way to do this is to arm yourself with information therapy and the good news is there's so much content that is available free on our website which includes comic books as well as videos and because this is content that I have generated I can assure you that it's authentic updated accurate and reliable and armed with this you will be able to at least choose a good clinic for yourself.

And like I tell all my patients the purpose of the information is not to tell you to come to us but it is to help you to identify a good clinic and a good clinic is one which will share a treatment plan with you in advance, will share photographs of your embryos with you so they're open and transparent and will transfer only one single blastocyst for you at a time and I do hope that armed with this information which we're happy to provide free. You become a parent and get the baby you so deeply love and desire

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.