Friday, October 17, 2014

When your IVF cycle fails

When your IVF cycle fails , a major source of distress is seeing all your hard earned money go down the drain. Even worse is the fear that your dream of having a baby may never come true. After all, if IVF – the treatment of last resort for infertile couples - has failed, then what else can you do the next  time ? Your hopes come crashing down and life seems bleak.

If you feel that way, you are wrong. You do not have to give up on your dream of having a  baby just because your IVF cycle has failed. You always have the ability to change your reproductive destiny.
But it will take a bit of time and patience. And it will require that you change some of the thoughts and feelings you have about medical treatment .

First, accept the fact that you alone are completely responsible for your IVF treatment. This might seem to make no sense ! How can a patient be responsible for IVF ? Isn’t this the doctor’s responsibility ?  The key is that you need to stop thinking of yourself merely as a passive participant in your treatment – after all, you aren’t a guinea pig!

By taking responsibility for your treatment, you also assume responsibility for your future.  You start taking ownership of your problem, rather than leave everything upto the doctor.  Let’s not forget – you are the one who has the most as stake. ! Now this doesn’t mean that you need to join medical college or start an IVF clinic. What it means is that you need to accept that patients can be powerful – and you need to assert this power  if you want to maximize your chances of IVF success.

Second, set realistic expectations. We see many patients who give up after taking IVF at a poor quality clinic. They didn’t do their homework before starting the IVF treatment and went to the nearest ( or cheapest) clinic.  They are very na├»ve and believe that all IVF clinics are the same. They trust the doctor and leave everything upto him. They wake up only after their cycle fails. When they then start doing their homework, they find they were shortchanged, because the doctor did not share any information with them and did not give them photos of their embryos. They are understandably angry and resentful, and refuse to trust any other doctor after this bitter experience. They end up throwing the baby with the bath water !

While the outcome of any IVF cycle is always uncertain, finding a good clinic which follows the right processes will maximize your chances of success. Other patients refuse to do IVF unless the doctor can give them a 100% guarantee. I feel sorry for these patients, because they are setting themselves up for failure.  They are likely to be cheated by a glib, smooth-talking doctor, who gets them pregnant by fooling them by giving them a HCG injection which causes their pregnancy test to become positive !

The great thing about setting realistic expectations is that you can prepare yourself for failure before you start, so that it’s easier to cope with the emotional roller coaster ride of IVF.

Realize that the journey to your baby is taken one day at a time.  A step in the right direction will help you reach your goal, but you cannot fast forward the process or take a shortcut.

Need help in bouncing back when your IVF cycle fails ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at so I can guide you as to what you can do to maximise your chances of success in the next attempt !

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:58 PM

    Nice post Dr.! Thanks for encouraging us patients to be knowledgeable and responsible for our IVF treatments. I have learnt a lot ever since I started treatment at your clinic. Though I have not achieved success yet, I for sure know that I have tried all the right things at a good clinic. Like you always say, I have the satisfaction that I tried my best with two of the sincere and patient friendly doctors in India. Proud to be associated with your clinic.


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