Saturday, September 14, 2019

The grieving process after a failed IVF cycle

IVF failure causes a lot of heartbreak, and part of the problem is patients don't process the grief efficiently. This makes a bad problem even worse !
Some  pretend that it's not a big deal, and that they are coping well. They believe they will be able to bounce back, and put on a brave front.
This is especially true for the husband, because the fact is that  his heart is breaking too when the cycle doesn't work. He hates having to see his wife go through all that trauma - the pain of the injections  and her disappointment when the result is negative. It's very hard for him to see her suffer, but he can't display his emotions , because that'll cause her to break down. This is why grief and sorrow remains the elephant in the room, and because it's not addressed proactively and head-on, it festers, because they both pretend that everything is fine.
If you can manage to deal with the heartbreak because you are strong and can bounce back, that's fine. If you're able to process it yourself, great. If not, please find a loved one -, a family member, or your spouse , who can give you a shoulder to cry on . It's also a good idea to look for a counselor, who can help you deal with this, because they are mental health professionals.
If you can process the grieving phase in a healthy fashion,  this will help you become much more resilient !

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

IVF video - The IVF patient's fears!

IVF patients carry a lot of emotional baggage

They already suffer from  low self esteem , because they can't even do something as simple as making a baby in the bedroom - a biological process which millions of women can do without any effort whatsoever , and have been doing successfully without any help for centuries.
This lack of confidence spills over into their professional life, and starts affecting sexual desires as well. Infertility has social consequences as well, because friends either sympathize with them , and outsiders look down on them, which makes coping even harder.
The problem gets exacerbated when they do an IVF cycle and it fails. The confidence which they had in IVF doctors takes a beating, and they start believing they will never ever be able to have a baby, because they have failed to get pregnant even after taking the  most effective treatment available.
The problem with IVF is that doctors tend to overpromise, especially because they want the patient to do their first cycle with them. When the cycle fails, they often abandon the patient, because they have already extracted their professional fees. Patients feel cheated , and believe they didn't get a fair deal. They are often treated badly, because the clinic refuses to share medical details or provide a clear explanation, and this colors their perception of other IVF doctors as well.
Many of them refuse to ever try another IVF cycle again - an attitude which causes them the most harm, because not all IVF doctors are the same, and they deprive themselves of trying treatment which gives them their best chances of having a baby !

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Monday, September 09, 2019

IVF video - The problem with bad IVF clinics

Learning from every IVF cycle

The outcome of an IVF cycle can never be predicted, and sometimes in spite of the best possible medical treatment, your cycle may fail.

The important thing is not so much the failure, as to what we can learn from the failure, which is why our focus should never be on just the outcome - it should be on the process !
Was the treatment done properly or not? Was information shared with you? Did each stage in the treatment go properly? What are the tangible endpoints which you can check for? Was your ovarian response fine? Was your endometrium thick and trilaminar on the ultrasound scans? Did you get lots of good quality eggs? What was the embryo quality? Did the doctor transfer top quality blastocysts  ?
Does this seem confusing ? It shouldn't be, because the basics are quite simple !
Here's a simple hack - the single key  question you should be asking.

Do you have photographs of the embryos the doctor transferred, so you can check that these were top quality blastocysts ?
 As long as you ( and your doctor !) learn from each IVF failure, you will keep on making progress , until you finally get pregnant.
The secret for IVF success is to keep on doing it , until it finally works.

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Sunday, September 08, 2019

Why azoospermic men get poor quality treatment

One of the reason azoospermic men don't get good quality treatment in IVF clinics is because most IVF clinics don't have a full-time urologist / andrologist on their staff.
This means they have to depend on an external consultant urologist to come and do the surgical procedures for sperm retrieval, such as PESA or a TESA. The problem is that often these andrologists are extremely busy , because they're traveling all over the place, which means they're often not available to do the procedure on the day of the egg pickup.

This obviously affects the chances of the patient getting pregnant , because the clinic is then forced to depend on using frozen testicular sperm or frozen epididymal sperm or the IVF/ICSI treatment.
The success rates of using frozen testicular and epididymal sperm is not as good, because it's hard to judge sperm viability after the thaw.
This means the poor patient's chance of getting pregnant drops considerably.

If you need surgical sperm retrieval for your IVF/ICSI treatment, you should make sure that the IVF clinic you go to has a full-time andrologist , who's able to do the PESA/TESA on the day of egg collection, so that the embryologist has fresh testicular/ epididymal sperm to work with !
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Saturday, September 07, 2019

The IVF patient's fears

One of the biggest fears which IVF patients have when they go to an IVF clinic is that the doctor will advise them to do IVF , whether they actually need it or not !
This is a valid concern , because IVF is a much more expensive treatment than the alternatives.
If there are simpler, less expensive treatments available ( such as IUI), then these could actually help the patients to get pregnant in a far more cost-effective manner.
The patient's unexpressed fear is that the IVF doctor may want to maximize his income , and may not discuss simpler, cheaper options with them.
This is why it's so important that patients be well-informed. They need to do their homework, so they have a chance to think through all their options.
A good IVF doctor will always explain alternatives to you, starting all the way from nonmedical options such as adoption, all the way to simpler treatment options. He will discuss the pros and cons of each , rather than try to force you to do IVF just because he happens to be an IVF clinic.
That's the advantage of going to an experienced doctor, who is not practising medicine just to make money !

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