Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The problem with travelling embryologists and why this compromises IVF care

The outcome of IVF treatment depends on close coordination between the clinical and the IVF embryologist . This is why it's so important that every good IVF clinic has a full-time embryologist , whose responsibility is to make sure that the eggs the doctor gives them are handled with care , so that they become top quality embryos.

Sadly, there is still a shortage of embryologists in this country , most of whom don't have either the experience or the expertise to provide top quality care for your embryos.

The poor IVF patient gets short-changes, but sadly most patients don't even know this , because there is very little openness and transparency in what is happening in the IVF lab, especially with regards to the qualifications and expertise of the embryologist .

This is why many IVF clinics - specially the new ones - still depend on travelling embryologists to be able to offer IVF treatment.

Now while some of these embryologists have a lot of expertise , the problem is they are always rushing and in a hurry. They are so busy travelling from one city to another , they can only spend 1 or 2 days in one IVF clinic. Now this is great for them , because they can make much more money , but this is not great for the patient . For one thing, the risk of errors happening increases when you treat too many patients at one time by squeezing them all together in 1-2 days. When 5 egg collections are being done in one day, there is a real risk that eggs, sperm and embryos will get mixed up – and the poor patient will never know the truth until it’s too late.

Also, when there are so many patients to treat and so many eggs to fertilise, the embryologist is not able to spend enough time on each patient to be able to do full justice to them. Thus, these clinics are often not able to freeze embryos, because the senior embryologist has gone off to another city, and the junior embryologist left behind is not able to freeze embryos well, as a result of which many of these frozen embryos will die when thawed.

This is why patients continue to get suboptimal quality medical care in most IVFclinics .

It’s high time the government regulated this , and insisted that every IVF clinic should have an experienced IVF specialist as well as a full-time experienced IVF embryologist .

It’s only when they work together that IVF success rates will be good, because the IVF lab is the heart of IVF treatment


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