Saturday, July 31, 2021

What IVF patients need to do to stop remaining confused and ignorant


It both amazes and dismays me how poorly informed IVF patients are,  even after they have completed an IVF cycle . 

I know this because I offer a free second opinion by email on our website at Patients ho have failed an IVF cycle can send me their IVF medical records , so I can review them and guide them as to what they can do to maximize their chances of success in the next cycle.

I request them to send me photographs of their embryos, so I can assess the quality of their medical care . After all, the only tangible deliverable an IVF Clinic can provide is embryos, and top quality embryos means your clinic did a good job with your medical treatment.

After all, the only thing an IVF clinic can do is make embryos. Whether they implant after the transfer is not something which anyone can control, because embryo implantation is still a Black Box which we don’t understand well.

Embryo quality is tangible , and because it can be objectively documented as a photo, it’s reliable and can be trusted.

However, patients often reply to my request by saying – The doctor did not give us a photograph of the embryos ; I did not know that the doctor was supposed to give me photos of my embryos. Even worse, they will send me a photograph of the ultrasound scan which the doctor did while doing the ultrasound-guided transfer . The reason this upsets me is because this clearly means they don’t understand what embryos look like .

This means that not only did they not bother to do their research before starting their IVF treatment, their doctor did not bother to educate them , and has chosen to hide information from them, for reasons best known to him.

I worry when doctors aren’t transparent – what are they hiding, and why ?

This is why patients need to address the problem of Information asymmetry proactively .

Please do your homework before you start your IVF cycle , rather than kick yourself after the cycle has failed , that you didn’t take the time and trouble to get the information you required from your doctor !

And if you want to know what embryos look like , check out



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