Monday, June 27, 2016

The IVF gamble

Lots of infertile couples refuse to do IVF because they think of it as being a gamble. They think their chances of success are poor, and they don't want to risk spending a lot of money if the doctor cannot provide them with a guaranteed result. Of course, a guarantee in IVF is a very unrealistic expectation. It would be great if we could provide this, but we can't control biological processes , because doctors are human beings, just like their patients are.

Some patients would rather wait for a miracle , and they believe that their God will help them to have a baby. I think it's great to have faith in a higher power , and being spiritual helps you to cope with the travails of infertility, but if you want God to help you to win the lottery, you do need to at least buy a lottery ticket in the first place !

Patients need to understand that IVF is not like buying a lottery ticket  where everything is a matter of chance. It's much more like playing a poker game , where you can learn to improve your chances of success. 

In a lottery , you have no way of controlling what the outcome is going to be. However, there is a much greater element of skill in playing poker, where there is a big difference between a professional poker player and an amateur. Amateurs lose lots of money, because they get emotional and try to take shortcuts. A professional , on the other hand , will do his homework and study the maths, so that he is aware of the odds of success in each  hand he plays . He understands the laws of probability, and will not let his emotions cloud his judgment . He will not make wrong moves, because he knows what the traps and pitfalls are. While he knows that the outcome in any hand is uncertain, he follows the right process, so that he maximises his chances of success over time.

This is exactly the way a smart IVF patient will approach IVF treatment.  She has studied her chances of success; understands that there is a risk of failure; and will calmly and logically weigh all the pros and cons before making a decision. This is why it's extremely important that you find a good IVF clinic which is transparent, open and has your best interests at heart - after all, your chances of winning at poker are much better if you make sure you have been dealt a good hand !

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