Thursday, August 19, 2021

The IVF Inversion rule to maximize your chances of IVF success


The best way to maximize your chances of IVF success is to minimise your chances of IVF failure . This is the classical Inversion rule popularized by Charlie Munger, because it’s easier to identify what the causes of IVF failure are, rather than identify the causes of IVF success.

This is partly because IVF is a complex process , with many variables and moving parts, which means it’s hard to pinpoint why a particular cycle succeeds . Many things needs to go perfectly for the embryos to implant – and there is also a huge component of luck, which we can’t measure !

For example, if an IVF cycle fails , and if you know ( for example ) that the endometrial lining was thin, or the ovarian response was suboptimal, or the embryo quality was poor , you can identify the reasons for the failure and then treat these underlying reasons . This means that your next IVF cycle, you will reduce the chances of failure , and therefore automatically improve your chances of success . As Warren Buffett often says, The best way to make money is to make sure that you don't lose it !

This is exactly the same philosophy which IVF patients need to follow .

Thus, if you are taking treatment at an IVF clinic which doesn't do blastocyst transfers routinely, you will automatically increase your chances of failure , because the implantation rates of blastocysts are higher as compared to Day 3 embryos. This is a medical fact which every doctor knows , but unfortunately , because every IVF clinic is not capable of growing embryos to the blastocyst stage in their IVF lab ( because they don’t have the expertise to do this, or because their lab is not well equipped , they take shortcuts , and reduce the patient’s chances of success.

Similarly, if your IVF clinic does not have a full time embryologist ; or if the IVF doctor doesn't have their own laboratory ( and needs to do the IVF procedures in another clinic); or the doctor and embryologist have to travel to the clinic to do your procedures, this is a red flag that this is not a full-service IVF clinic, and you are going to increase your chances of failure .

The lack of coordination between the clinic and the laboratory reduces your chances of success, and this is the reason why satellite IVF clinics ( manned by “ travelling “ embryologists and itinerant IVF specialists have a much poorer success rate.

The problem is that patients aren’t sophisticated enough to understand the truth, and these clinics lie to their patients. They do not bother to provide patients with a photograph of their embryos, which means they happily continue taking their patients for a ride .

Your IVF treatment is too important for you to leave everything up to your doctor !

You need to be proactive , and the good news is there is plenty of high quality reliable accurate medical information available at

Also, the Indian Government is finally taking cognizance of the fact that many bad IVF clinics are cheating IVF patients , and has started to provide some kind of oversight by asking IVF clinics to register with the ICMR. While it’s true that not every registered IVF clinic is necessarily good , it is definitely true that any IVF clinic which is not registered with the ICMR is not good . Thus , if your IVF clinic is not enrolled with the ICMR, this means they don’t meet the basic requirements every IVF clinic should be able to provide to its patients . Stay away from such clinics please !


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