While IVF can be a very effective treatment option for infertile couples, the sad truth is that it sometimes causes more harm than good.

Thus, many IVF doctors push unproven and untested tests and treatments on their patients. These are disguised in the garb of being the "latest technological advance", but actually serve only to improve the clinic's profits, and not the patient's pregnancy rates. However, patients are desperate, and unethical doctors are happy to take advantage of the patient's vulnerability.

Over the last 30 years, we have seen many of these "advances" come and go. They were introduced with a lot of fanfare, but died a slow death, when it was learned that they did not help to improve IVF success rates. Sadly, these caused a lot of harm to patients who served inadvertently as "guinea pigs" !

The list is long - and doesn't seem to get any smaller, because there will always be new solutions to take the place of the discredited ones.

These include:
- treatment of "luteal phase defect" - a diagnosis which has turned out to be a mirage
- Growth Hormone treatment for poor ovarian responders
- Endometrial scratching
- Coculture
- Laser assisted hatching
- Immune Therapy
- Testing for NK cells

Patients need to become more proactive, and not get carried away by stuff, just because it is the "newest and latest". In fact, in medicine, old remains gold, because it has stood the test of time !

Want to find an IVF clinic which respects your time and intelligence ?
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Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.

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