Friday, January 09, 2015

Is my IVF clinic technically up to the mark ?

Is my IVF clinic up the mark ?  This is an ever-present question in the minds of IVF patients who are aware that their egg quality determines the chances of a pregnancy. In turn, the egg quality is influenced by the patient’s age. Patients are fully-aware of the fact that nothing much can be done about this aspect as age is an irreversible factor.

So what is it that can to done to get a more favourable outcome? The IVF doctor you choose is one key variable that is in your control. The expertise and experience of the clinic you choose can have a major impact on the outcome of your treatment. IVF success rates vary from clinic to clinic, which is why the Human Fertilization Embryology Authority (HFEA) in the UK and the Society for Assisted Reproductive technology (SART) publish IVF clinic league tables.

Judging Competency

These are a comparison of the performance of fertility clinics’ success rates and help patients decide which clinic they should go to for their treatment. But in India, the scenario is completely different. Patients find it difficult to judge how technically competent a clinic is; more often than not, this information is shrouded in secrecy. So what exactly can a patient with modest incomes do?

Most patients will conduct a lot of research when they are selecting their IVF doctor, but how can they ensure that they are making the right choice? Should you rely on his reputation, how impressive his website looks or by the amount of media coverage he gets? You also wonder whether you should trust your family physician’s opinion of a particular IVF doctor or trust the information that features on doctor rating sites.

 Delve Beneath the Surface

In addition to this jumble of questions that revolve in your head, you also wonder about what to do if the clinic you have zeroed-in on doesn’t freeze embryos. There could be times when a doctor tells you that the pregnancy rate with frozen embryos is very poor, and he doesn’t believe in wasting the patient’s money on freezing them. Is he telling you the truth or is it a clever excuse to mask the fact that that the clinic is poorly-equipped?

Aspects to Focus On

All these questions and doubts can be very confusing and makes the task of judging the competence of an IVF doctor, a very difficult one. Most patients worry that if they make the wrong doctor choice, it will mean the entire effort has been futile and their money has been flushed down the drain. And so, even as you consider factors like cost, the clinic’s ambience and the doctor’s bedside manner, the IVF clinic’s technical proficiency should top your priority list.

Here’s a little-known secret that will help you judge the competency of a clinic- Look at the quality of the embryos that the clinic makes. It is imperative for a patient to look at photographs of their embryos, post the IVF cycle. This is tangible proof of the technical skills of the clinic.

Making the Right Choice

Making embryos is the only thing a clinic can do. If they make good quality embryos, it means the doctor has done a good job with your superovulation and the IVF lab has done a good job with fertilizing your eggs and culturing your embryos.  A clinic that is confident of its medical skills will routinely and proactively provide embryo photos to all its patients. This practice reassures patients and should be encouraged as the standard of care.

Want to make sure you've selected the right IVF clinic? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at so that I can guide you in a better way!

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