Saturday, February 26, 2011

Does it matter how many IVF cycles you have failed earlier ?

We see many patients who have failed multiple IVF treatment cycles in other clinics. Most of them are quite depressed and frustrated. They are not sure whether it's worth trying another IVF cycle with us, or whether they should explore alternative options .

The key question in their mind is - What can you do differently from the other IVF clinics ? What makes you better ?

I enjoy treating these patients . For one, they are a challenge, and if our treatment works where other clinics have failed, this is a feather in our cap ( doctors can be very competitive !)

Also, because they have done IVF earlier, they understand the basics of the treatment, so I can have an intelligent conversation with them and explain what we are going to differently. Because we are a full-service clinic, we can offer additional options which other clinics may not be able to.

These patients can be quite emotionally labile, but because we offer a lot of hand holding in our clinic, along with plenty of personalised support, we can help them to cope quite effectively.

Because we are very transparent in our approach and make it a point to educate patients and actively involve them in their treatment, most patients are appreciative of our approach because it's a refreshing contrast from what they have experienced in other clinics.

What has our experience with these patients been ?

While it's true that success rates do tend do drop in women who have had failed IVF cycles, this is not always true, and there are some refreshing exceptions !

Thus, many patients have taken treatment at sub-standard clinics. Their quality of care has been so poor, that for all practical purposes, all they have done is throw their money away. Doing an IVF cycle for them properly ( the way it should be done !) helps many of them to get
pregnant !

Similarly, some patients with PCOD have been very poorly managed in other clinics. Many doctors are so scared of OHSS, that they end up mistiming the HCG injection, as a result of which they get few eggs and poor quality embryos. We have extensive experience in doing IVF for PCOD patients, and our pregnancy rates are better than 45% per cycle for PCOD patients.
You can read more about this at !

Patients with male factor infertility are also often poorly managed in many IVF clinics. This is especially true for patients who need TESE and PESA. Because we do these procedures ourselves , we can use fresh sperm, giving us a much higher success rate ( unlike other clinics which have to depend upon an outside andrologist and therefore often have to use frozen testicular sperm which has a much lower success rate )

The other group of patients who are very fulfilling to treat are those with poor ovarian reserve. Because we are willing to use alternative medicine; supplements; and aggressive superovulation, we can often achieve a pregnancy in these patients ( whom other clinics shun because they are considered to be heartsink patients !)

Another interesting trend has been that most clinics in the West use gentle stimulation these days, because they want to transfer only a single embryo. While this works well for women with a good ovarian reserve, it's not the best approach for women with poor ovarian reserve. For these women, because we can superovulate more aggressively, we can often find the one good egg they have in their ovaries, and help this to become a baby !

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