Sunday, April 03, 2022

Stress does not cause IVF failure !

When an IVF cycle fails , patients are understandably upset , and demand answers for the failure, especially when the doctor told them at the time of transfer that the embryo was a top quality embryo, that their uterus lining was superb , and that their chances of getting pregnant were 90% (clearly a lie, but providing false hope is something which bad doctors resort to very often).

When their hopes come crashing down, they turn to their doctor for answers . Many doctors respond by blaming the patient for the failure ! They say the embryo did not implant because she was too stressed out, or because she did not rest enough !

This is a completely ridiculous and patently false answer , and the doctor resorts to this lie purely to protect himself ! After all, if stress caused IVF failure, then no IVF patient would ever get pregnant , because every IVF patient is under stress ! After all, who likes going to a doctor to make a baby ?

However , by blaming something intangible like stress, the doctor can deflect the blame , and refuse to intelligently discuss the causes of failure .

This is a very unkind form of victim-blaming. As it is, infertile patients suffer from poor self esteem , so when the doctor blames them for the IVF failure , she feels even worse about herself , and feels responsible for wasting all the money that was spent on the IVF cycle  !

I remind patients that it's not the stress that causes infertility - it is the infertility that causes stress ! After all, a woman who gets raped is under mind-numbing stress, but if she is going to get pregnant , nothing in the world is going to stop this biological process , which she cannot control with her mind .

If your doctor starts blaming you for your IVF failure by saying that you are too stressed out, then this is clearly a red flag, and suggests that you are dealing with an incompetent doctor.

The truth is that most IVF cycles will fail , and no one can predict which one will succeed and which one will not . There is absolutely no excuse for making a bad situation worse by blaming the poor patient for the failure .

Interestingly, it is usually incompetent doctors whose IVF lab isn’t any good, who resort to these dodgy tactics. It’s because their bad labs create poor quality embryos ( which is the real reason for the IVF failure) , that they are inclined to blame the patient , by hiding the truth from them, and refusing to share embryo photos.

Good doctors, on the other hand, provide photographs of embryos to all their patients routinely and proactively, to document the fact that the quality of care provided was excellent. They also counsel the patient , and remind them to have realistic expectations. After all, embryo implantation is not in either the doctor’s hands , or the patient’s , and we need to learn to live with grace and humbly accept this biological unpredictability.

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