Friday, December 04, 2009

Wny every IVF patient should insist on photos of their embryos

Every IVF patient knows that the skill and the expertise of the IVF clinic plays a big role in their chances of getting pregnant.

Unfortunately , most patients are completely clueless as to how to judge the competence of an IVF clinic. Many of them select a clinic based on its "word of mouth" reputation or how busy it is. Unfortunately, this is a very poor criterion.

For example, one of India's busiest clinics is run by a skin specialist ! Why is it so busy ? Because the clinic offers cheap IVF, they attract a lot of young infertile couples, who don't even need IVF in the first place ! Because they do IVF for all these couples, they have a success rate which appears to be high - and a very busy and crowded clinic, even though their IVF lab is of very poor quality !

Unfortunately, patients confuse marketing skills with clinical competence !

This is also why "success rates" are not always a good method for judging an IVF clinic's competence.

One of the best methods is to ask for photographic documentation of your embryos. The key skill of the IVF clinic is to produce embryos. Whether or not the embryos will implant to become a baby is a variable which depends on factors outside the clinic's control, a good clinic should be proud to show you your embryos.

This is important for many reasons

1. This reinforces the technical competence of the clinic
2. It ensures they are transparent
3. It allows you to get a second opinion , in case the cycle fails
4. It's a tangible end point, which confirms that you can make good embryos in the laboratory ! Making a baby is then just a next step away !

If a clinic refuses to provides you photos, this is a major black mark against them.

What are they hiding and why ? And if they don't even have the equipment to photograph your embryos, this means their equipment is sub-standard - enough reason for you to look for another clinic !

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