Monday, March 31, 2014

Scaring IVF patients

We see lots of patients who have failed IVF treatment cycles in IVF clinics in smaller cities in India . This keeps us very busy, because these patients have learned the hard way that the technical competence, experience and expertise of the IVF doctor make a big difference in the outcome of their IVF treatment.

It breaks my heart when I see how poor the quality of medical care these smaller IVF clinics provide. Many of them have been set up as a response to the huge demand for IVF services in India today. Rather than refer infertile couples to the best IVF clinic, the senior gynecologists in these towns want to tap into this local captive patient population

This can be good for the patient when these clinics have a high success rate. They do not need to travel long distances to take treatment , which means it’s much easier for them to avail of IVF; and often the care is less expensive . However, all this applies only if the quality of care these clinics provide is as good as it would be in more established clinics . Sadly, this is often not true

Because these clinics often do not have the required infrastructure , expertise or experience , they are often tempted to take shortcuts . They will treat patients in batches, and will fly down IVF specialists from Mumbai , in order to fill in the gaps in their knowledge .

Sadly, most patients  are very poorly informed, and cannot differentiate between a good clinic and a bad clinic. This is especially true when they are doing their first IVF cycle , because most patients rarely do much homework until they have burnt their fingers. It’s easy to take uninformed patients for a ride , because they do not know any better.

Interestingly, while patients know that the care in Malpani Clinic is far better, the local doctors who run these IVF clinics so their best to scare patients from going to Mumbai , because they don't want to lose these patients do Mumbai clinics . After all, this would harm their profitability !

They scare the patient from going to Mumbai. They tell them lies that travelling back to their town after doing an embryo transfer in Mumbai will cause the embryos to “fall out”.  They fill their head with nonsense by saying that they need to take bed rest for 15 days after the transfer – and if they go to Mumbai, they will not be able to do so. They fill the patient's head with a lot of myths and misconceptions and cook up horror stories of patients who have developed complications after going to Mumbai. Patients are understandably worried about continuity of care, and do not want to antagonize their local doctor. After all, they have a personal relationship with the local doctor , who can easily persuade them into taking treatment locally.

Patients need to invest in Information Therapy in order to protect themselves . While the short term costs and inconvenience of travelling to Mumbai are a deterrent, often this is more cost effective , because the focus should be on maximizing the success rate in the first IVF cycle itself.

When there is so much at stake, they cannot afford to take a chance and do IVF at a second rate clinic, in order to save a few thousand rupees. This penny wise and pound foolish can come back to haunt them later, because if the first cycle in their local clinic fails , they may not be able to raise the funds to afford another cycle in a better clinic.

Interestingly, the cost difference between doing IVF treatment in Mumbai and in a small town is not much – and in fact, treatment at Malpani clinic is often much more cost -effective because of our high success rates.

Want to maximise your chances of IVF success ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at so that I can guide you better !

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