Saturday, February 15, 2014

Is IVF Treatment the Only Option for Infertile Couples?

It is a flawed belief that IVF is the final and only treatment choice that an infertile couple has. Sadly, not many doctors at test tube baby centers care to explain this to the patient. But we at Malpani Infertility Clinic make sure that that the patient has a clear understanding of all the options available to her. Most IVF specialists are either too busy or too focused on IVF to offer alternatives. So many patients who undergo IVF seem to do it as a compulsion – they feel that they do not have any other alternative , and are forced to accept this treatment choice.

Every infertile couple who has been advised IVF by their infertility specialist has a total of 4 options to choose from. They include IVF with their own egsg and sperm; IVF using third party options such as donor eggs , donor embryos or surrogacy; adoption ; and choosing to live without a child. All these are valid choices and they can opt for any of the four at any juncture. The patient needs to critically evaluate each of these options before she decides on any one of them. It is important to have an unbiased view of the choices. None of these options are any better than the other. They come with their own set of success rates, challenges and risks. ( Incidentally, there are three more unconventional paths which include : continuing to try natural conception; remarriage ; and praying for divine intervention. These are some of the other off the track choices available !)

When we explain these alternative options to patients, they feel that we are being pessimistic and think they have a very low chance of success, which is why we are discussing alternatives right from the start. However, they need to realize that IVF is just one of the may options available to them – and they need to select what feels right to them.

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