Monday, September 19, 2011

Where are the photos of your embryos ?

I often see patients who have done IVF cycles in other clinics, and I ask them just one question - please show me the photos of your embryos. A lot of patients get quite taken aback with the simple question. What photos ? Unfortunately, many IVF clinics do not routinely provide photos of the embryos to the patient, as a result of which patients do not know that they need to ask for this documentation. Many patients get defensive and say - I did not know you could get photos of your embryos. Others complain - the clinic did not give them to !

I think complaining about what the clinic did or did not do really does not help anyone. Ignorance can prove to be expensive and patients need to take a proactive role in their treatment . While you're not responsible for the actions of the clinic , you do need to take responsibility for your own actions. I tell patients - I'm not trying to make you an IVF doctor , but you must become an expert on your problem. Getting a photograph of your embryos is tangible evidence that you have received good quality medical care ; and is one of the best forms of documenting quality control in an IVF clinic.

A photo of good-quality embryos documents the fact that the IVF care has been of a high standard. On the other hand if the clinic is reluctant to give you photos of your embryos, this should raise a red flag !

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