When an IVF cycle fails, patients want answers. What went wrong ? What can we do differently the next time?
Part of the problem is it's very hard for doctors to provide precise answers, simply because biological systems are so messy. After all, the law of small numbers applies , and it's very hard to extrapolate or give definitive answers based on just one single cycle, simply because there's so many variables.
It’s not as if we are trying to hide information from the patient, but the honest truth is that we really don't know why a given IVF cycle fails – or even why it succeeds, for that matter ! ( Of course, when the IVF cycle succeeds, everyone is over the moon, and no one asks why everything went off perfectly , because this is what they hoped for an expected).
The problem is that doctors are upfront and honest , and tell patients we don’t really know why the cycle failed, they get very upset . They that the doctor is either completely clueless , or is not hiding information .
They are unhappy, because they naively believe that medicine is a science, which is they expect precision and accuracy from the IVF specialist. After all, isn’t he supposed to be an expert ? What kind of expert cannot answer such simple and basic questions ?
Sadly, biological systems are not engineered by doctors, and patients need to be aware of the uncertainty which plagues IVF treatment before they actually start their IVF cycle.
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