In medicine, it’s pretty normal for doctors to do tests; after all they need these to reach the right diagnosis. The doctor has to identify what your medical problems are in order that he suggest the appropriate treatment. Of course this seems like a very logical way to go about things. If a doctor is unable to identify what the problem is, how is he going to treat you?

Though this may sound logical, when it comes to infertility treatment, things are completely different. Unlike all the other branches of medicine, it’s not problem oriented, it’s actually solution oriented. Patients don’t really come to a doctor complaining that their tubes are blocked and that the doctor should open them- they come to the doctor and say- “I want to have a baby”.

No point in wasting time

In the case of older patients, in most instances doctor’s advice IVF as it gives the woman a much better chance of having a baby. Regardless of what the medical diagnosis, says this is a fact; no matter whether its low sperm count, blocked tubes or unexplained infertility. It doesn’t matter what the actual problem is; in IVF, we are trying to overstep that problem instead of wasting time in trying to figure out what it is.

It simply means, that if an older woman comes in for a consultation, I would very simply tell her that IVF would be the only reasonable treatment for her.  The only time I would tell her to do the tests would be if she is willing to do the treatment. That will help me design a treatment plan that will be tailored to her particular diagnosis.

On the other hand, if she isn’t willing to do IVF, I just don’t see any point in getting her to do any tests in the first place as it wouldn’t really change any recommendation that I would make for her.

In fact, this is the case in a number of other conditions too.  If we take the case of a man with advanced prostate cancer, and who has metastases in the lungs, its pointless doing innumerable CT scans of the chest, if he doesn’t want to be treated for that particular ailment. There is a very simple rule in medicine- do tests only if you feel it’s going to change your treatment options in any way.

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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