I'm an IVF specialist and I do hundreds of IVF cycles every year. I've treated thousands of women, and I continue admire women who are willing to go through a second IVF cycle. Now they may have done the first IVF cycle at some other clinic; the cycle may have failed ; or they may have got pregnant and miscarried or ended up with an ectopic. But, the fact that they have the courage to try once more means they actually have a lot of guts and I admire them for this.
There's a lot of suspense and uncertainty involved in any IVF cycle. You never know if it's going to work or not , and you continue hoping that you're going to get lucky - if not the first time, then at least the second ! And isn't the third time considered to be lucky ?
Dealing with this uncertainty can be nerve wrecking even for me as an IVF doctor , so I can imagine how much worse it must be for patients who have so much riding on an IVF cycle.
Yet , in spite of the fact that they know they have to make repeated visits to the clinic; take injections daily; get their private parts prodded for regular ultrasound scans; and get poked for blood tests till they start feeling like a pin-cushion, they still have the guts and the stamina to start a new cycle, without ever being sure whether it's going to work or not.
To add insult to injury, they have to wait for hours on end to see the doctor and get their blood results; spend tons of money on chasing what seems to be a mirage; and be forced to lie in bed in the hope that this will get their embryos to stick. Having to do all this just in order to get pregnant - a goal which millions of other women achieve effortlessly in their bedrooms - eats into their self esteem ; and impacts their career and their marriage.
In spite of knowing the pain and heartache which an IVF cycle involves, they are willing to give it a second and a third shot. I think they're brave , and I salute them.
While we do our best to give every patient who comes to us a baby on their very first IVF cycle, sadly biological processes are not something which we can control , no matter how good our medical treatment maybe. I try to share this uncertainty with them upfront, so they can prepare themselves for what can be a rocky emotional roller coaster ride.
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