When patients opt to do an IVF cycle, the outcome is the only thing that matters to them- they just want a baby! If we had control over the outcome (and unfortunately we can’t), every time a patient went through a perfect cycle, she would get pregnant. Unfortunately, the human reproduction system isn’t that efficient and we can never be certain about what the outcome of an IVF cycle will be.

This is simply because the doctor cant influence biological processes and once we have transferred the embryo into the woman’s uterus, we don’t really have any control over whether  the implantation takes place or  not. Of course, this isn’t something that patients want to hear. It’s disconcerting to know that regardless of what you do, the success of an IVF cycle is no less than a gamble. Some patients have to repeat it multiple times before they are successful in conceiving a baby.

When thought maturity matters

This is exactly why it’s so important to keep processes and the outcomes separate. Though we can’t control the latter, we do have control over the former; any good clinic will always follow the right processes, but will have no control over the final outcome. Patients with mature thought processes do understand this, but there are some who don’t have the maturity to appreciate this.

In case their cycle fails, they just get frustrated and upset and may end up venting their anger on the doctor; often, they will complain about the clinic even though all the processes he had followed were perfect. It’s become very easy to malign the clinic via social media or other online avenues and that is what these patients do.  

A matter of luck

On the contrary, there are certain IVF clinics where patients do get pregnant, even though bad processes were followed; this is nothing but a matter of sheer luck. In fact, this is very common in clinics that see a large number of patients; many of these patients don’t even need IVF in the first place and that’s how they have good success rates and build a reputation without a solid foundation and they continue to fool gullible patients. The bad clinics that have consistently bad outcomes eventually shut down within a few years, but not before they have caused a significant amount of harm. 

When their cycle fails, most patients can’t really tell whether it was because the doctor followed bad processes or whether it was only a matter of sheer bad luck, despite the fact that the right processes were followed. The unfortunate part is that very few doctors are transparent in their dealings with their patients and not many patients have the energy or the time to understand all the processes used. This is exactly why some clinics prey on the ignorance of their patients and manage to get away with fooling them.

However, just as its very important that doctors follow good processes, it’s just as important that a patient become a good patients and do their homework. This will help them get a better understanding of how the IVF processes work.

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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