Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Avoiding the blame game after a failed IVF cycle

The period after a failed IVF cycle is very stressful for the patient. Most of the time  the patient is not prepared to accept the failure. The failure of the cycle comes as an unexpected shock to her and her relatives. In such a situation, the patient looks for a target to blame the failure on. After spending so much money, and taking so many injections, she is understandably upset that she has got nothing in return. The easiest target in sight is the IVF doctor. 

This is especially true when the doctor over-promises success . Part of the problem is that at the time of the first IVF consultation, most IVF doctors are in “sell” mode because they want to convince the patient that she should come to their clinic, rather than go anywhere else . They talk very sweetly and wax eloquent about their high success rates. However, when the cycle fails, they don’t want to have anything to do with the patient, because no one likes talking to upset and angry patients ! The Dr Jekyll seems to have turned into a Mr Hyde, who refuses to talk to the patient.

The patient feels abandoned and cheated. She starts complaining that the doctor was negligent or careless, and this anger and bitterness puts the doctor on the defensive. This recrimination achieves nothing but a sour doctor – patient relationship.  The patient loses faith in the doctor and sometimes on all IVF doctors !

In order to prevent this fiasco, patients need to understand that it is always better to be proactive than reactive. It is your duty to do your homework and have realistic expectations of the IVF treatment.  You don’t need to become an infertility specialist, but you do need to become an expert patient. This will ensure that rather than blaming the doctor , you can work together with him to find a solution. What did he learn from the cycle ? What went right ? What went wrong  ? What does he plan to do differently the next time ?

Patients need to be assertive and must ask for the IVF medical reports and embryo photos at the time of the embryo transfer, before leaving the clinic. Every good clinic provides this routinely. Bad one will often try to fob you off with flimasy excuses, saying that it’s “not clinic policy” to provide records. This is rubbish ! You have a legal right to your records and you should ask for them . If the doctor refuses, make a request in writing so that it is not ignored. The more you learn about your IVF treatment, the better your chances of improving your chances of success in the next cycle !

In case your IVF cycle has failed, there's no need to go to pieces. You just need to move onto plan B ! Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at so that I can guide you better !

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