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For most IVF clinics, the poor ovarian responder patients are the ones that cause the most distress. These patients have poor ovarian reserve, and regardless of what we do, it can sometimes be a major challenge to get them pregnant. Its not that they cant grow eggs and make embryos- they can! In fact, its exactly this which makes the entire matter even more complex.
It also creates false hopes as the patients feel that if they are able to grow eggs and make embryos, they will surely be able to get pregnant as well. They also feel that they only need to just make their embryo stick and they will be well on their way to having a baby.
Its crucial that these patients be treated with empathy and patience; this will also help them have very realistic expectations of the success rates of the treatment in their specific case. Though its not fair to snatch away their hope, it’s not really kind to give them any kind of false hope.
No simple answers
Sadly, there are no easy answers to this quandary; each patient will have to retrospect and look within to resolve this plight they are in. We do sometimes superovulate these patients, but in my opinion, using unproven and extremely expensive treatments like IV intralipds, intravenous immunoglobulins or growth hormone injections, can be extremely difficult to justify.
And the complexity increases
The other unfortunate fact is that there are some anecdotal success stories splashed all over the Internet and these make a complex situation even more entangled. It’s extremely difficult to tell which ones are facts, and which ones are nothing more than concocted stories. And since hope is something that we as humans have ingrained in us, most patients do want to give it one more shot.
From a medical perspective, the most efficient way of solving this problem is to use donor eggs and this procedure has a very high success rate. Unfortunately most women are unable to come to terms with this particular solution. The only thing I say to my patients who are caught in this dilemma is- “What’s most important for you? Do you want to propagate your own genes? Or do you want to have a baby?
For most IVF clinics, the poor ovarian responder patients are the ones that cause the most distress. These patients have poor ovarian reserve, and regardless of what we doo, it can sometimes be a major challenge to get them pregnant and in most of these cases, using donor eggs is the ideal treatment option for these patients.