Many patients come to me for a second opinion after a failed cycle at another infertility clinic. The first bit of information I request them to provide me with are the photographs of their embryos. Some are puzzled by this request. Some say that they were unaware of the fact the IVF doctor is supposed to give embryo photographs ; while others defend themselves by saying they didn’t know they need to get photos of their embryos.
IVF documentation is incomplete without the embryo photographs. The photos are tangible evidence of the quality of embryos produced. Every infertility clinic must have the expertise to produce good quality embryos. The final outcome - whether they implant and grow into a baby or not , is a different issue. Once a good quality embryo is transferred , its fate is not something that any doctor can control. The prime job of an infertility clinic is to make sure that they produce good quality embryos in the lab.
Keeping a record of embryo photos is beneficial for the patient as well as doctor. From patient’s point of view, seeing a good embryo works as a morale booster. The patient undergoing IVF has been going through a lot of stress . She starts getting the feeling that her bodily systems are defective. A good quality embryo gives her the confidence that her reproductive system is capable of working well , even though it may need some assistance. Also the photos are evidence of the expert craftsmanship of the doctor. The patient builds trust on the doctor , based on the transparency of treatment.
In Malpani Infertility Clinic, we routinely and proactively provide every patient with their embryo photographs. The photos form a bridge of trust between the IVF doctor and the patient. It clearly shows that the doctor and his staff have nothing to hide and are completely open about all aspects of the IVF procedure. A doctor may also benefit from this record keeping. If the cycle fails, he can always refer to the photos to confirm the quality of the embryos. Sometimes the patient may go to another doctor for a second opinion. When the second doctor sees the record of photos, he is also assured of the high quality of treatment provided at the earlier clinic. For fortunate patients who happen to conceive after IVF, the embryo photos can adorn the baby book.
Embryo photographs serve the interest of both IVF patient and IVF doctor . They help to build a healthy relationship . If your IVF clinic does not provide you with photos of your embryos without your asking, this is a red flag and you should worry !
If you need help in interpreting the quality of your embryos, please send me your embryo photos and medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/malpaniform.htm , so that I can guide you !