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(Tuesday, June 07, 2014)
A lot of infertile women don't want to do IVF because they are worried that IVF is very stressful. They are anxious about having to take so many injections; they have heard lots of horror stories about the side effects of the hormones; they are anxious about spending so much money; and the biggest worry of all is the uncertainty involved with IVF – that even after spending so much time, money and energy, the cycle may fail.
While it is true that IVF treatment is expensive, please do remember that a baby is priceless - and that IVF is the fastest and most efficient way of getting pregnant quickly. While IVF can be stressful, not having a baby can be equally stressful! The fact that you're not getting pregnant, and have to keep on trying month after month, without ever being sure when it’s going to work, can be very difficult to live with. This chronic daily low-level stress can cause a lot of personal unhappiness and marital disharmony. It changes a person's personality – and infertility affects self-esteem and sexual desire.
For these women, IVF can actually be a great way of reducing their anxiety and stress levels! Rather than sitting and hoping and waiting for something to happen ( which can be very frustrating), they now have the opportunity to regain control and actually do something which dramatically improves their chances of achieving their goal.
They know they are taking treatment which can maximize their chances of getting pregnant. Rather than just passively praying and waiting for things to happen naturally, they have taken the initiative to change their fate. Since the fact that nothing has happened for so many months can be extremely corrosive to their self-esteem, the fact that they are now actually doing something can be extremely good for their confidence. They know that they are now moving in the right direction and are making progress.
This means that even if the IVF cycle doesn't give rise to a pregnancy, they still have peace of mind that they are giving in their best show – that they are putting in their best efforts and are not leaving any stone unturned in their quest for a baby.
I advise patients – Please come to when the anxiety of coming to me is less than the anxiety of making a baby in your bedroom!
In reality, if IVF is done properly in a good clinic, the physical stress involved in an IVF cycle is minimal. We are kind and patient-friendly and don’t make patients wait for hours on end or give them painful injections. They need to come to the clinic only five or six times. We make sure our patients are well-informed, so that can actively participate in their treatment. They know exactly what is happening and how their cycle is progressing. This knowledge gives them a lot of comfort and boosts their self-confidence and sense of control.
Sadly, a lot of IVF treatments are not carried out properly in many IVF cycles. They needlessly add to the patient’s stress, by doing daily blood tests and scans – most of which are not needed. Patients need to wait for the results – and there is little privacy because they are often herded like cattle since there are so many patients being treated at one time. It’s often an impersonal assembly line approach – and patients are clueless about what is happening. The senior doctor is never available and they can only get information in little dribbles from the juniors and nurses (who is often very poorly informed themselves!)
The treatment is often badly - organized. Because many clinics do the IVF cycles in batches and depend upon an embryologist or a doctor who flies in from out of town, they are disorganized, and don't share information up front with the patient. Even worse, many actually hides information from the patient , by not telling them how many eggs were collected or not providing them with photos of their embryos.
If IVF is done properly, it can actually be a great treatment to reduce stress and anxiety levels for infertile couples , because rather than depend upon Mother Nature (who can be very inefficient and unkind for infertile couples), IVF allows us to give nature a helpful push in the right direction!
IVF allows you to seize the initiative, so you no longer have to be passive, helpless and powerless. Taking treatment at a world-class clinic will maximize your chances of success and give you peace of mind you did your best, so you will never have any regrets in the future that you did not give yourself the best shot at having a baby.