Monday, January 23, 2012

Why do IVF patients drop out of treatment ?

One of the biggest problems IVF doctors face is the fact that patients will often drop out of IVF treatment, when they fail their first or second cycle. This is a tragedy because the fact is that repeating the IVF cycle is often their best chance of success . It’s disappointing that no one has researched what makes women who continue doing IVF treatment even after a failure different from women who choose to drop out.


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  1. I suspect you are right that there is a psychological component. Many people don't deal well with any kind of failure, especially today. I think framing IVF as a multiple trial type of treatment is a way to get around this.

  2. Anonymous2:06 PM

    Dear Dr,

    Why do some patients like me or I(6 IVFs, 1 FET !!!) do not drop out of treatment?

    1) Financially stable
    2) Spouse and dear ones
    love and support
    3) Enouh knowledge to understand
    the IVF process
    4) A strong desire to propogate my
    or our genes (a very natural
    instinct which is out of my
    5) Beleif that I will eventually
    I carried an embryo created via
    IVF for 8 weeks in my womb (so
    it can happen again and I will
    carry my baby to full-term)
    7)There is no scientfic reason
    found for not conceving after
    multiple transfers (so I beleive
    its just bad luck !!! and
    hopefully thats true)
    8)I am strong physically and
    mentally (or multiple IVFs made
    me strong !!)
    9) The thought of not being able
    to have a baby and not being
    able to enjoy a pregnancy causes
    much worser pain than a failed
    IVF, so want to try, try and try
    until I succeed

    Just did a psycological analysis of myself for not being able to conceive and found a few plausible reasons :

    1) I always think of alternatives inorder to escape from the pain of an IVF failure- like I tell my mind during 2ww that there is always the next time or I can adopt ( I should just learn to tell my body and mind that this is the last attempt and that I must conceive and have a baby in hand !!)

    2) Untill now I beleive(d) in science than the power of GOD !!!!!
    sometimes knowledge is evil :))))))
    Still I am not sure how to make my mind beleive the power of mighty GOD than SCIENCE (SHOULD I????)( I beleive embryo implanting or not implanting is just science and GOD has nothing to do with it- do you think its true Dr?)

    Just a few thoughts which might help you to analyze an IVF patient's psycology :))))

  3. This is a very thoughtful and reasoned response - I wish all my patients were as well-informed, optimistic and determined as you
    are !

    It would make my life ( and theirs !) a lot easier :)

    Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD
    Malpani Infertility Clinic, Jamuna Sagar, SBS Road, Colaba
    Bombay 400 005. India
    Tel: 91-22-22151065, 22151066, 2218 3270, 65527073

    Helping you to build your family !

    My Facebook page is at

    You can follow me on twitter at!/drmalpani

    Watch our infertility cartoon film at

    Read our book, How to Have a Baby - A Guide for the Infertile Couple,
    online at !

    Read my blog about improving the doctor-patient
    relationship at

  4. I’ve learned a lot from your blog here! Keep on going, I will keep an eye on it.

  5. Anonymous2:36 PM

    Dear Dr,

    Thanks you. That feels good to get some compliment from you :) But you haven't answered my question :) Do you think a power more than human efforts play a bigger part in deciding whether the embryo should implant or not? From your experience as an IVF doctor for several years whats your conclusion after seeing so many IVF cases or do you think its just science,probability and luck? Have your ever noticed any difference in a successful patients mentality and an unsuccessful one?

  6. Excellent question - thanks for asking. I will do a post later on the role of science, spirituality and positive thinking on IVF outcomes.

    In all honesty, this is one of those questions no one has an answer to. We can only guess. Being human, we are all inclined to repose our faith in a higher power, especially when are in trouble ; are struggling ( for example, when tackling with infertility); and need help. This is normal response, as we try to make sense of what is happening to us. However, whether a belief in God helps to improve IVF outcomes is highly debatable. It may not influence the outcome, but patients who believe in God find it much easier to deal with the ups and downs of the IVF process !

  7. rabina11:29 PM

    as anonymous has rightly said we will also try again and again until we ours fet result came negative(2nd ivf).fresh 2nd ivf ended in m/c at 4 weeks(beta=21.5 never increased).1st ivf negative (both fresh and fet). we plan to do 3rd ivf on may.


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