(Monday, May 26, 2014)

Infertile patients know that IVF is a complex and expensive treatment. It requires a lot of experience and expertise in order to maximize the success rates. They also know that different IVF clinics have different success rates, and that there is a big difference between the pregnancy rates of a good clinic versus a bad clinic. This is why they spend so much time trying to find the best IVF clinic with the highest success rate.

However, in spite of this, many patients do a poor job in selecting the right IVF clinic. There are multiple reasons for this


Firstly, some patients still naively believe that all IVF clinics are equally technically competent. This can be a major mistake. For example, most IVF clinics in India still do not even have a full- time embryologist, and have to batch their patients in order to use the services of a travelling embryologist.

Patients need to invest enough time in Information Therapy and doing their homework, so they can learn to ask intelligent questions about their IVF treatment, rather than just unquestioningly accept whatever their doctor tells them. Sadly, it’s only when a cycle fails that they realize the importance of being well-informed – but by this time, the damage has already been done

Most patients still select clinics based on convenience – they choose the clinic, which is closest to them. While this does make dealing with the logistics a lot easier, it also means that while this may be a sensible short-term decision, if the local clinic has a poor pregnancy rate, they will end up wasting a lot of money.

Most patients are happy to go to their family doctor or gynecologist and request them to refer them to an IVF clinic. They naively trust their local family physician, and believe that he will refer them to the IVF clinic which is best for them . Little do they know that today a lot of family physicians and even gynecologists will refer patients to IVF clinics which offer them a kickback to do so.

This means that sadly patients can no longer trust their doctor to look after their best interests, because he is busy looking after his personal financial interests.

One of the reasons patients cannot differentiate between a good clinic and a bad clinic is because they do not bother to invest time and energy in learning the what differentiates a good clinic from a bad one.

Here’s a simple tip. A good IVF clinic routinely provides photos of embryos to their patients. Any clinic which does not do this is not likely to be a good clinic. When patients think about how much time and money and energy they are investing in their IVF treatment, they should be willing invest a little bit in the Information Therapy as well , so they can learn what makes a good IVF clinic good.

Need help in finding the best IVF clinic? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at Free Second Opinion so I can guide you sensibly?

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

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