Saturday, December 12, 2015

Why patients refuse to repeat IVF cycles

Infertile couples know that IVF gives them the best chance of getting pregnant. This is why they do their first IVF treatment cycle with a lot of hope - and with the fervent prayer that the cycle will be their first and their last. Every IVF patient hopes to hit the jackpot and have a baby in the first
attempt ! However, when the cycle fails, they often go to pieces, and are very reluctant to repeat a second cycle, even though they know that repeating the cycle would still be their best chance of getting pregnant. This is quite surprising, because you would expect that someone who has already done one IVF cycle would find it much easier to repeat it again - after all, they have " been there, done that " ?

There are many reasons for this reluctance , and this high IVF dropout rate tragically prevents many infertile couples from having their baby.

The biggest problem is the  unrealistic expectation they have that IVF cycles always work.  This is aggravated by the lack of counselling on the IVF clinic's part, who will often fail to prepare IVF patients for failure. Most IVF doctors are very happy to oversell their services, and they promise the Earth and the Moon to the patient in order to get them to sign up for IVF treatment in their clinic. Then, when the cycle fails, they abandon the patient, so the patient feels cheated, and is then not willing to trust any other doctor. This, of course, ends up hurting the patient, because they then deprive themselves of the best chance of getting pregnant, which is repeating a cycle at a better IVF clinic.

Patients need to understand that the failed cycle represents a sunk cost, and there is nothing they can do about this. Rather than feel bitter about the failure, they need to learn from the experience, and use this additional knowledge to find a better IVF doctor for their next attempt.

They need to learn from each cycle, and then start with a clean slate,  rather than carry emotional baggage, and treat all IVF doctors as being crooks . This attitude only ends up hurting them.

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