Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Why IVF doctors need to spend more time talking about failure to their patients

Infertile patients think of their IVF doctors as advocates, because they believe they are armed with the best knowledge available, and they trust that their doctor will do what's best for them.

Doctors are usually very happy to talk about their success stories  ( for example, a common ploy is to describe a complicated patient who is now pregnant after treatment at the clinic). This strategy is very helpful in building up the patient's confidence, so she feels that this is the right doctor for her.

However, the elephant in the room is the topic of IVF failure , and many doctors try to sweep it under the carpet. However, we don't only talk about our success rates - we also discuss failure rates with our patients at the first consultation.

Some patients complain that Dr Malpani is negative or pessimistic.  This is not true. I feel it's important to discuss failure frankly and upfront , so that patients have realistic expectations of the IVF process, and learn not to focus solely on the outcome.

Whether the patient brings up the topic or not, the possibility of failure is one which haunts the IVF patient. They are often scared to talk about it, but it does keep them up at nights. Not talking about the possibility only adds to their stress levels, because they are then forced to bottle up their worries inside them.

I feel that talking about the possibility of IVF failure will only increase the trust patients have in IVF doctors, and a good doctor will take the time to discuss what the next course of action will be , in case the cycle fails.

Need help in coping with a failed IVF cycle ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you better !


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