When couples find out that they are having difficulty with having a baby, they first go to their gynecologist for treatment. Though the latter may be the first choice when it comes to treating infertility, they aren’t really specialists in this particular field and don’t have the necessary training for it either. Today, infertility treatment technology is progressing at a very fast pace and not being in sync with these advancements, can result in a gynecologist causing more harm than good, to his patients.

The mistakes

There are certain common mistakes that gynecologists make when they are treating infertile couples. Take a look at what these are:

  • A majority of gynecologists aren’t good at interpreting the semen analysis report and they are unable to deal with infertile men. Given the fact that they specialize in providing healthcare for women, there is nothing surprising about it.
  • It simply means that if a couple is dealing with male factor infertility, the gynecologist they are consulting won’t be too sure about what the best treatment plan for them will be. Most will just refer the man to an urologist and this also means that the patients care gets fragmented.
  • Some try to improve low sperm count  with medications
  • Others try to treat infertility with IUI; this treatment isn’t effective for men who have low sperm counts as their sperm don’t have the ability to fertilize their wife’s eggs.
  • Many gynecologists also tell their female patients to do a vaginal ultrasound scan. In most instances, this picks up minor abnormalities like fibroids or ovarian cysts. The doctor tells his patients that this is the reason for their infertility and that the “problem” would have to be treated surgically, before the patient tries to have a baby. The fact is that fibroids or small cysts are common in fertile women too and don’t really impact fertility. Surgical intervention can actually reduce the woman’s chances of getting pregnant, as the surgery can reduce her ovarian reserves or cause adhesions.
  • Another very common diagnosis that many gynecologists make is that of endometriosis. They conclude that this is the cause of infertility and start treating the patient. Again, the fact is that, there is no strong evidence to indicate that endometriosis causes infertility. Neither medications nor surgery improve the chances of pregnancy in a patient. Unfortunately, most patients aren’t aware of this, and they pursue this ineffective treatment and end up spending a great deal of time and money on it.

It’s also not uncommon to see gynecologists badmouthing IVF and some make it a point to discourage their patient from opting for this treatment. They just don’t want to lose their patient, and go out of their way to highlight the risks of In Vitro Fertilization.

They don’t deal with their patients with empathy and are clueless about the emotional turmoil that these patients are going through. They don’t follow any detailed treatment plan and treat patients on a cycle-cycle basis.

Get a second opinion

The biggest downside to all of this is that the patients end up harboring false hopes and waste a lot of time. So, what then are patients supposed to do? Do they just avoid going to a gynecologist altogether when they need help with getting pregnant? Not at all. In fact, your gynecologist should still be your first source for advice and its still important to get a second opinion from an IVF specialist.

Not happy with the attention you are getting from your IVF clinic? Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you!

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

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