Wednesday, May 18, 2022

What to do when the doctor isn't able to collect any eggs


One of the reasons IVF cycles fail is because doctors tell patients that they weren’t able to collect any eggs during the egg retrieval . This can come as a rude shock, because patients expect doctors to be able to collect one egg from each follicle , and it’s very hard to understand why they weren’t able to retrieve any eggs at all .

When doctors don’t get any eggs, they commonly lie to the patient, and tell them they suffer from the rare condition called empty follicle syndrome ! This is not true, because empty follicle syndrome is a very specific condition which can be diagnosed only by doing special tests, but doctors don’t bother to do this , and will use this diagnostic label as a pretext to cover up their own incompetence, which is what really caused them to fail to collect any eggs.

Let’s look at the real reasons why some doctors aren’t able to find any eggs at the time of egg retrieval. One of the commonest reasons is that the follicles have already ruptured before the start of the egg collection . This is not uncommon, especially in large clinics that do many egg collections in a day , because they "batch" their patients together into one group. If the doctor waits for longer than 38 hours after the HCG trigger , the follicles will rupture, and the eggs will be lost in the peritoneal fluid. However, the doctor will refuse to take any responsibility for this negligence, and will hide the truth so that patients remain completely in the dark.

Another reason why the doctor may not be able to collect any eggs is that the doctor may not be technically competent . This is becoming increasingly common in IVF corporate clinics that run large chains , because they are happy to hire any doctor they can find , no matter how inexperienced or clumsy he may be. This is because their focus is not on providing a high quality clinic service , but on doing as many IVF cycles as possible , to maximise their profits. Many of these junior doctors don't have the experience or the expertise to collect eggs for challenging patients—especially when there are only a few follicles ( in patients with poor ovarian reserve), or when the ovary is hard to reach because of adhesions. The doctor blames the poor ovarian function, and then uses this as an excuse to tell the patient to use donor eggs for the next cycle.

Another problem could be a bad embryologist , so if he is not experienced enough , he may fail to identify the oocyte cumulus complexes in the follicular fluid that the doctor sends at the time of egg retrieval. He will claim that no eggs were found, and the hapless patient will never get to know the truth , because it's concealed , and no one is willing to take responsibility for the mess.

Finally , another reason could be equipment malfunction , so if the lab is not well equipped , or if there is a loss of electrical power, the suction pump used for the egg collection will not create the negative pressure needed, or the stereozoom microscope used in the IVF lab will stop working.

The result of this sad saga is that the poor patient will waste all their time , money, and energy - and to add insult to injury, the doctor will lie and tell the patient that there was a problem with her eggs, and she will need to use donor eggs in her next treatment cycle, which is a complete lie.

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