Monday, December 20, 2021

How the IVF Law can put IVF patients first !

I am relieved that the Indian government has finally realised the importance of regulating IVF clinics by passing the ART Bill.

While some IVF facilities are outstanding, a number of poor IVF clinics have popped up in recent years, and an IVF specialist seems to be on every street corner in most towns, promising high success rates!

Unfortunately, these practitioners lack the necessary experience and expertise to adequately deliver IVF treatment.

Typically, these clinics are administered by gynaecologists who have never performed an IVF cycle during their medical training. They do a one-week diploma or certificate course and hang out their shingle, ready to entice unsuspecting people, because they believe IVF is highly profitable.

Worse, the IVF labs in these clinics are supervised by technicians who aren't skilled embryologists, which means the embryos aren't cultured properly to Day 5. When they freeze the embryos, they frequently kill them, exacerbating an already terrible situation.

The difficulty is that because of the inadequate record-keeping and the refusal of many IVF facilities to provide medical records, patients are unable to ascertain why their IVF cycle failed.

Patients are unable to distinguish between a good IVF clinic and a bad IVF clinic, thus the legislation is a positive move in the right way, since it establishes the minimum equipment that an IVF facility must possess.

However, there is one crucial piece of information lacking from this Act. The government should have made patient education mandatory for all IVF clinics, not just in the form of counselling, but also by explicitly stating that the patient's IVF medical records are his or her property, and that the doctor is required by law to hand them over to the patient at the end of the IVF cycle. They should have additionally required that images of the transferred embryos be included in the records on a regular basis, so that patients have definitive verification of the quality of care they got. This is, by the way, a global procedure that all competent IVF centres follow on a regular basis.

This simple step would have been beneficial to patients since it would have given them greater confidence in the quality of care they would receive. It would also be beneficial for good IVF clinics to provide embryo photos on a regular basis, because they understand that the only thing an IVF clinic can do is produce high-quality embryos, and they are proud to do so because this transparency boosts patients' trust in the facility.

More crucially, because bad IVF clinics will not be able to comply with these requirements because they are incapable of creating excellent quality embryos, this single step will compel them to discontinue providing IVF therapy.

This one easy step would prioritise patients and assist all Indian IVF clinics in providing world-class levels of IVF care.

Do you require assistance in conceiving a child? Please fill out the form at with your medical information so that I can assist you!

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