Thursday, August 30, 2012

Are IVF doctors overusing surrogacy treatment ?

India has the dubious distinction of scoring a number of medical firsts – for example, that  of being the diabetes capital of the world. We also seem to have become the surrogacy capital of the world, and patients from all over the world come to India for surrogacy treatment. This is a welcome sign , which suggests that Indian medical treatment has become world class,  and is great for infertile couples who actually do need surrogacy treatment. However, all this limelight is also causing some unforeseen problems – especially for infertile Indian couples doing IVF treatment.

We are now seeing many patients who are being advised surrogacy by their IVF doctors, because they have failed 2-3 IVF cycles. When the IVF cycles fail, the diagnosis the doctor glibly trots out is “ failed implantation” – and then promptly advises surrogacy. The implication is that if the embryos fail to implant, the “fault” must be with the patient’s uterus;  that her body is faulty and is rejecting the embryos which the doctor has so carefully created in the lab; which is why her best solution would be to use a surrogate !
Actually, this is completely flawed thinking, which benefits only one person – the IVF doctor. For one thing, it gets her off the hook for the IVF failure. After all, if the patient’s body is rejecting the embryos, what can the poor doctor do about this ?

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  1. Dr, when you write :

    "It’s also much easier to manipulate the medical records of the surrogate. This is why many surrogates will get pregnant – and then mysteriously miscarry after a few weeks !"

    It is scary! Will doctors do such things? Is it OK to even write it in your blog? Already people are very afraid of IVF doctors!

  2. Dear Manju,

    Good doctors will never do something like this - but bad doctors do ! Patients need to know the truth - why censor information ?

    The purpose is not to scare patients, but to educate them, so they can protect themselves, when armed with the right information.

    Dr Malpani


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