Saturday, April 08, 2017

IVF patient versus IVF doctor - when your doctor refuses to listen to you

IVF patients are often faced with a dilemma when their doctor refuses to listen to their personal preferences, and they don't agree with their doctor's advice Thus, there are older patients with DOR ( diminished ovarian reserve) who want to try IVF with their own eggs, but their doctor discourages them from doing so, by saying that the chances with their own eggs are very poor . The doctors pushes the patient into using donor eggs, saying this would be a far better option, because it has a much higher pregnancy rate. 

This can create a lot of angst, and sometimes patients aren't sure what to do - whether they should follow their own heart, or obey their doctor. They've been taught (especially in India ) to defer to their doctor's advice - after all, he is the expert in the room , and they're supposed to follow whatever he says.  However, this is not a good idea for an elective treatment such as IVF.

Because using donor eggs and other third party reproductive options is such a highly charged emotional decision, patients need to be very careful when agreeing with the doctor's suggestions. While it's very easy for the doctor to provide the advice, it's the patient who needs to live with the consequences of that advice.   That's why you need to think through some of these decisions very carefully , and discuss what your concerns are with your doctor. He's not a mind-reader, and you need to tell him what your preferred choices are. Now, he may or may not agree with you - after all, he is a professional , and he may not want to provide what he thinks is futile treatment, and that's fine. Nevertheless, it's important to have this discussion. 

You should feel heard and respected , and you should be able to trust your doctor. You should never get the feeling that he's trying to force a particular treatment option down your throat , simply in order to make more money. You need to have enough confidence that he has your best interests at heart , and is putting your  personal preferences first. 

You need a doctor who's willing to be open-minded and nonjudgmental - someone who's willing to discuss your options with you.  You don't want someone who crams his opinion down your throat simply because he happens to be the doctor , and "knows best". This is why mutual respect and trust in an IVF doctor/patient relationship is so important.

The fact of the matter is that there are never any right answers. There are always going to be options, and it's impossible to predict what the outcome of any option is going to be for an individual patient. A doctor can provide you with medically accurate information - but this only applies to groups of women, and he is not a fortune teller. 

For example, if your AMH is low, he can tell you that your chances of getting pregnant with your own eggs is about 5%, whereas, if you use donor eggs , your chances will go up to 50%.  However, whether to then still go ahead with the 5% option because you're not comfortable using the donor egg option is a decision which only you can make. You cannot abdicate that responsibility , and you cannot outsource it - you're the one who needs to be comfortable with it, because this is your life.

The bottom line is that if you're happy with whatever decisions you make, you will keep your child happy, and everyone else around you happy as well. You need to be selfish and put yourself first when thinking about some of these things, because if you are miserable, you will create unhappiness in the life of those you love as well . This is why you need a doctor who will give you the permission and the freedom to discuss all these options openly with him - and this needs a mature doctor, who is willing to spend enough time with you, so you can explore your options thoroughly, and do what your head and heart tell you is right for you.

Looking for an IVF doctor who will respect your wishes ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at so that I can guide you !

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