Unveiling the Secrets: Second IVF Cycles Made Easier

Second IVF cycles are often much easier to do than the first cycle, because the first cycle is full of anxiety as well as fear of the unknown, and patients are never sure what's going to happen. By the time you've done one cycle, even if that cycle has failed, at least you have a relationship with your doctor, you know what's going to happen, and there's in that sense a little less anxiety because you know what the treatment protocol is going to be. And since you've dealt with failure the first time, even if you fail a second time, because you're mentally steeled for this, it’s easier to cope with the failure and you will bounce back faster. Having said all this, it's still vital that you be well-informed before your start your next cycle fails because then your second cycle will be that much easier to do. And the secret is to remember that the more you know, the less your anxiety levels. Good IVF clinics will design cycles so they're easy to replicate, to reduce the pain, stress, and anxiety for their patients. We take the time and trouble to explain what will happen, why it's happening, and what they should expect next. We share a written treatment plan and lots of educational materials, in the form of comic books and videos, so patients are well-prepared. Unfortunately, most IVF clinics don't bother to do this, and this makes the IVF journey much harder for patients, who are often completely in the dark. Not only do these clinics fail to educate their patients, because they are too busy getting them to sign up and pay their fees, they often end up hiding information from the patients even during the IVF cycle. And when the cycle fails, patients become very bitter, and the first thing they want to do is change the doctor, because of the lack of transparency. Changing the doctor is a good idea, but first, make sure you have all your medical records with you! Many clinics refuse to share this because they don’t want to lose their patients. This is illegal because your medical records are your property. Hire a lawyer and send them a legal notice, demanding this!

Also, when you find a new doctor, please start with a clean slate, and don’t carry all the emotional baggage of your first failed cycle. Just because your first doctor hid hiding information from you doesn’t mean that everyone will – but you need to be proactive and demand this in advance. Also, please don’t regurgitate your bile and angst on your new IVF doctor - please don't use him as a punching bag. And even if your cycle fails, remember that as long as you're learning from each IVF cycle, you're making progress toward your final goal, which is having a baby.

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