Tuesday, January 17, 2023

IVF’s dirty little secret - the commonest reason for poor quality embryos is a poor quality IVF clinic


IVF’s dirty little secret - the commonest reason for poor quality embryos is a poor quality IVF clinic

The chances of getting pregnant in an IVF cycle are directly proportionate to the quality of the embryos created . If the embryo quality is poor, the chances of getting pregnant are going to be poor as well .

Now, the quality of the embryos created in the IVF clinic is a variable that is highly dependent on the skill, experience and expertise of the IVF doctors and embryologists, who need to work together as a team.

However, most IVF patients are completely clueless about the quality of their embryos. A major reason for this is many IVF clinics will hide this fact from their patients , by refusing to share embryo photographs , as a result of which patients are completely in the dark about this key variable. Doctors will causally tell all patients that their embryos are "top quality" – but will not provide any visual documentation to prove this.

To add insult to injury , when the cycle fails , and the patient demands to know the reason for the failure , they then tell the patient the cycle failed because the embryo quality was poor , and that the reason the quality was poor was because the patient’s eggs were bad , or the sperms were bad. They will cook up some flimsy pretext , which basically boils down to some variant of victim blaming. To make matters even worse,  they will then advice the patient to use donor eggs or donor sperm or donor embryos, or surrogacy in their next attempt in order to achieve a pregnancy.

However , the truth is that the reason for the poor quality of the embryos was that the IVF clinic was of poor quality . This is because the doctor who runs the clinic is inexperienced and doesn't have enough expertise or training. By attending a one week workshop , he calls himself an IVF specialist and starts experimenting on poor unsuspecting patients.

A big problem is that medical colleges do not provide any training in IVF,  as a result of which while most MD gynecologists may know a lot about the theory of IVF , they have no practical experience at all in dealing with IVF patients . They end up using their patients as guinea pigs , and their success rates are very poor during their learning process.

What's even worse is that many of these so-called IVF specialist are actually "part-time " IVF specialist. They are gynecologists, who continue doing anything and  everything , including caesarean sections, hysterectomies, and laparoscopies . Actually, IVF is a full-time job , and should only be done by a full-time IVF specialist who does nothing else , as is true all across the world.

Because they don't know enough about IVF , they try to import this IVF expertise, by doing what is called " batch IVF " , and hiring travelling IVF specialists and embryologists to carry out the procedures on their patients once every month or so. This may be very profitable for them, but it obviously means that the quality of care the patients receive suffers significantly.

Also , many IVF clinics will try to increase their revenue by appointing " consultant gynecologists " who will then use their facility in order to do IVF for their patients . The care of the patient gets compromised, because these gynecologists don't know enough about what's happening in the lab , and the poor patient gets trapped .

These very same patients who were told to use donor eggs by these bad IVF clinics then go on to generate very good quality embryos when they go to a good IVF clinic ! This clearly proves that the problem was not the quality of their eggs , but the quality of medical care they received.

Sadly most patients only learn the difference between a good IVF Clinic and a bad IVF clinic when their first IVF cycle fails, which is when they start doing their homework. However , this is an extremely expensive lesson , and because they have wasted so much time , money and energy , they don't have any confidence left in any IVF doctor , and will often refuse to try doing another cycle in a better clinic, as a result of which they fritter away their chance of having a baby.


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