Friday, December 02, 2022

Why Batch IVF has a lower pregnancy rate


Now that every gynecologist wants to become an IVF specialist ( because this is considered to be high-profile and profitable) , many gynecologists have started doing IVF in their own clinics. However, because they don't have either the confidence , expertise, competence or experience of doing this, they need to hire an IVF specialist to do the actual medical treatment for their patients.

This is why they do batched IVF . They cycle a group of patients together - usually 5 to 25, depending on how greedy they are. The medical experts who do the IVF treatment then fly down for 1-2 days to actually do the procedures. The gynecologists claims that the success rate for batch IVF is as good as regular IVF, and that this option is much more convenient for patients . who don't need to travel and much less expensive as well. Most patients are also happy with this option , because they prefer taking treatment from a trusted local doctor .

However, the reality is that this is a bad idea because the success rate of batched IVF is terrible, and there are many reasons for this .

For one thing , these gynecologists are not IVF specialists, and are doing this just in order make more money . They often end up having to take shortcuts,  which compromise pregnancy rates.

For example , they are not able to do Day 5 transfers , because the embryologist has left , and they end up transferring many Day 2 and Day 3 embryos, to try to compensate for this. They aren’t able to freeze embryos, because the embryologist is too busy doing ICSI, and doesn't have the time to do this. They end up doing too many cases in one day , because the travelling embryologist and IVF specialist want to maximize their income , which means they have to complete one pick up and transfer in about 10 minutes. The scope for mix-ups and mistakes is much higher in this chaotic setting. All patients end up having their pickups and transfers done on the same day , even if they aren’t medically ready. The doctor is not able to customise the treatment protocol for each patient , because they have to use the same treatment plan for every patient, based on what the IVF specialist tells them . This expert is remote, and has never seen the patient , and really doesn't care about what happens to you.

This is also why the documentation in these clinics is so poor, because the staff doesn't have the time or the energy to take photos of the embryos.

The medical equipment is also not maintained properly, because it is used for only a few days in a month, as a result of which the lab often isn’t able to create good quality embryos, but it’s easy to pass the buck, and the IVF specialist blames the local gynecologist, who blames the specialist, but it’s the poor patient who ends up suffering.

Finally, many of the “extra” eggs and embryos created during these batches are “donated” to other patients, without their permission, knowledge or consent ! This has now become illegal under the new ART Act, but this practice continues merrily nevertheless !

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