Saturday, March 27, 2021

IVF success rates and technology - new is not always better and old is often gold !

Like all IVF specialists, we want all our patients to get pregnant in the very first cycle itself . When patients get pregnant, they refer their friends and family members to you – and this is the best source of referrals !

This is why we want to achieve a 100% percent success in IVF , but the problem is that IVF doesn't have a 100% pregnancy rate, and this is a fact we need to learn to live with.

The problem is that false hope is created every time a new scientific advance which is reported as being cutting edge research in described in medical conferences and medical journals. All doctors get excited and want to be the first in India to offer this newest technology. And these researchers also publish press releases to get more publicity, so patients read about the “newest and latest” technique developed in the USA, and want us to use it for them.

However, over time we often find that not everything which glitters is gold , and a lot of the stuff doesn't actually end up working very well in clinical practice .

This is not surprising , because most researchers have a publish or perish mentality , which means they are under a lot of pressure to publish papers, even if their findings are reliable or replicable. Since no one wants to publish negative results , and editors are only interested in publicizing positive results , there is a lot of hype about these “advances”.

These include : the use of growth hormone injections for poor ovarian responders;

  • the use of immune testing and immune therapy for treating recurrent IVF failure;
  • PAMP and ERA tests;
  • Intrauterine infusion of growth factors for improving a thin uterine lining;
  • stem cell ( PRP) therapy;
  • endometrial scratching to improving endometrial receptivity.

 We tried these out when they were first described, and have stopped using them , because they don’t improve IVF success rates.

The tragedy is that many IVF clinics continue selling these techniques to their patients, simply because they can charge more for every additional procedure they do, even though it's been proven that these techniques don't work well .

This is why it's so important that patients be assertive , and do their own homework for themselves rather than signing up for every technique which the IVF clinic offers to you.

You don’t have to become cynical , but you do need to learn to be skeptical.

New is not always better , and older techniques are better because they've stood the test of time.

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