Friday, December 09, 2022

Please make sure that your IVF clinic has a full time embryologist

Many IVF clinics continue taking patients for a ride by cutting corners . While the ambience of the clinic maybe 5 star and the clinic may look very posh, with lots of patients and plenty of staff members, the reality is that the heart of the IVF clinic is the IVF laboratory , and the most important person in the IVF treatment is the embryologist , who actually does all the hard work behind the scenes in the lab to transform your eggs and sperms into embryos which the doctor can then transfer into your uterus so that they can become a baby .

If the embryologist is not good enough , you are not going to be able to get good quality embryos , as a result of which the IVF cycle will fail . The problem is that most patients are very poorly informed about the intricacies of IVF treatment , and they never ask this basic question to the doctor – Do you have a full-time embryologist ?

Now, it’s not possible for an IVF clinic to deliver high pregnancy rates without a full-time qualified , experienced and expert embryologist , because it’s his job to make sure that your eggs and sperms and embryos are cultured properly , and this is a full-time job , which can't be outsourced or done on a part-time basis .

Unfortunately, because there aren’t that many good quality embryologists available in the country , many IVF clinics take a shortcut and will hire a travelling embryologist to do IVF cycles for them in batches . While this maybe great for the clinic , because it helps them to earn more money , because they can now offer IVF treatment without having to employ a full-time embryologist ( who is an expensive resource) , this also means that their patients suffer, because their pregnancy rates are much lower .

A travelling embryologist doesn't have any long-term interest in making sure that the quality of the IVF lab is good , because he is not responsible for maintenance of the equipment . He can’t do any quality control , or troubleshooting, and if things don’t go well, he can blame the IVF clinic for not maintaining their equipment properly, while the doctor blames the embryologist for doing a bad job – but it’s the poor patient who ends up paying the price !

The travelling embryologist just comes in for a few days, does the procedures he is paid to do, and leaves without ever meeting the patient, or caring about what the final outcome was. This is why clinics without a full-time embryologist are not able to do day 5 transfers; are not able to provide embryo photographs to their patients; and are not able to freeze embryos efficiently for their patients , because the embryologist has left and moved on to do the procedures at some other clinic to earn more money for himself.

Because patients are ignorant and gullible, these clinics continue taking advantage of them by taking them for a ride. In our clinic, our embryologist, Dr Sai, talks to all our patients, and knows each of them, and each of them knows him !

This is why, before you start an IVF cycle, you should make sure that the clinic does only blastocyst transfer; that it provides photographs of embryos to all patients ; and has a full-time embryologist. Please make it a point to speak to the embryologist before you pay your fees, so you can judge competent , caring and expert he is.

Just like you need to ensure that you are in good hands because your doctor is a trusted expert , your need to ensure your eggs, sperm and embryos are in good hands as well, because the embryologist is an expert , and knows what he is doing .

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