Tuesday, March 25, 2014

When more is not better in IVF - PGS/CCS reduces IVF success rates


PGS and CCS seems to be the hottest new flavour of the month in IVF. Many patients come to us and ask that we do PGS/CCS for them. Typically, these are older women or those who have failed IVF cycles elsewhere. They have read about this new technique online, and want us to do it for them, because it is supposed to improve IVF success rates.

There is a good reason why PGS/CCS is so appealing. It allows us to screen embryos , so that we can selectively transfer only the genetically normal embryos. Isn't it common sense that doing so will improve IVF success rates ?  And since it's the newest technology around, it's being marketed very aggressively and cleverly !

Logically, we should be very happy to do so ( because we can charge more for these additional services). However, as professionals we also need to explain to them that while PGS will help us make more money, it will not help to improve their chances of success.

Sadly, most other IVF clinics do not bother to do so . And if a patient wants a new technology to be used for them, and is willing to pay for it, then why not pander to their request and comply ? It takes too much time and effort to say No to a patient's request - and it's hard to say No when you are turning away additional income. It's true that we lose these patients to other clinics, but other than educating them, there's nothing else we can do about this.

Because we are well off and very busy, we are in the fortunate position of being able to afford to say No when we don't think  the inappropriate overuse of technology is in the patient's best interests !

If you want to read why PGS/CCS does not help, please read the article, "Improved" Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS) Not Proven to Increase IVF Success Rates, at http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1801245

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