In a country like India, deciding to opt for IVF takes a lot of courage. But now that you have taken your first and probably the most significant step, it is time to make the most of it and find the best IVF doctor.
Unlike a couple of decades ago, the number of IVF clinics has risen steeply in the country. This makes ‘choosing the best’ all the trickier. While most IVF doctors attract patients based on their marketing or word of mouth publicity, it is highly advisable that you undertake research before opting for any IVF doctor.
• Success rates
First things first! Nothing can substitute for success. Finding out the success rates of different IVF doctors must be a major deciding factor while looking for an IVF specialist. Rather than going by the doctor’s claims, try to find out his success rates from published , trustworthy neutral sources. This is much easier in the USA and UK, where IVF clinics are required by law to report their pregnancy rates. Unfortunately, this is not true in India, so you are forced to accept what the doctor tells you. Hopefully , this situation will improve , as doctors become more open and transparent.
• Cheapest may not always be the best!
Most of our life’s decisions are made keeping in mind the ‘price’ of those decisions. A number of IVF doctors claim to offer IVF treatment at the ‘cheapest’ rates in the market. You are highly advised to look beyond the price tag . You need some one who is cost effective, not someone who is cheap, or you will end up being penny wise and pound foolish ! Thus, a clinic which does not have the technology to freeze embryos may offer lower fees, but their cumulative success rates will be much lower. There is a price you pay for every decision you make - and it's not just in terms of money - you also need to factor in the opportunity cost !
• Emotional Comfort Level
Apart from the physical process, IVF also takes a lot out of you and your partner emotionally. Make sure you assess your emotional comfort level with your IVF doctor from the first appointment itself. If you or your partner doesn’t feel comfortable with the doctor, you must give a thought about changing your doctor. IVF can be a long process and without adequate trust and a high comfort level between you and your doctor, the outcome may not be ideal.
• Qualification / Experience of the doctor
You must never compromise on the qualifications of your IVF doctor. Make sure you cross check the experience and qualification of your doctor and the embryologist before trusting him with your IVF treatment . A complex process like IVF demands high precision and expertise, which can only be expected from highly qualified doctors. IVF is a team sport, and everyone on the team needs to be skilled and expert at their job !
• International reputation
Is your IVF doctor internationally recognized? International work experience enhances the expertise of the doctor manifold. A positive international reputation of your IVF doctor would put your mind at peace and further increase your chances of a successful outcome.
Most importantly, make sure you take your time and never rush into making your decision. The entire check list may take some time to go through , but this is time well spent ! IVF is not an emergency, and it's worth doing your research thoroughly before you start, rather than kicking yourself afterwards for making a bad decision.
Once you’ve made your selection, remember that part of being an empowered patient is being able to change your mind. If after your first visit, your new doc does not feel like a fit, you can always choose to pull out your list, and try again !
Need help in choosing the best IVF doctor ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/malpaniform.htm so that I can guide you better !