In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) – Risk , Success and Treatment

IVF Treatment

Many patients get completely confused by the large variety of medications which are used during an IVF cycle. 

Actually, IVF treatment is basically quite simple. All we are trying to do is to help you grow more eggs, so that we can fertilise them in vitro in the lab. This is called superovulation, and uses medications which mimic the action of the gonadotropin hormones. These meds are the workhorses of an IVF cycle, and come in many flavours, including urinary hormones and recombinant hormones.

Hope for the best and Prepare for the worst

It’s very easy to smile and to make false promises. Everyone wants to think positive – and if you believe the secret, then you also believe that positive thoughts attract success. Being prepared does not mean that you are expecting a bad outcome – it’s just that you are prepared for the eventuality.

I always tell my patients to prepare for the fact that their IVF cycle may fail. Many patients dislike this. They feel I am being too negative and are secretly worried that such negative thoughts are a jinx which will jeopardise the outcome. Most patients want a cheerful optimistic doctor who will promise them a baby.

While I am personally very optimistic by nature, I feel it’s not correct for a doctor to overpromise success ! Patients are emotionally very vulnerable and it’s easy to take them for a ride – something which many unscrupulous IVF doctors do all the time, by quoting inflated success rates and promising the moon !

When I tell patients to prepare for the worst , this does not mean that I not hopeful or that I am a defeatist. I am not being negative or being a pessimist – I am just trying to be a realist.

Being prepared does not mean that you are expecting a bad outcome – it’s just that you are prepared for the eventuality. This is something we do in daily life all the time – which is why we buy an insurance policy – not because we want to die, but because we need to be prepared for death !

It’s much easier to prepare for a negative result before you get the actual beta HCG result. For one, this is just a theoretical exercise, because the hope that the result will be positive is always there. For another, you have time to think about options and Plan B, so you can think rationally and calmly.

If you prepare for a good outcome and get a good outcome, you can pat yourself on your back , send your doctor a box of chocolates, and move on. However, if you prepare for a good outcome and get a negative result, you are likely to find it very difficult to bounce back or think straight for a long time ! It’s much harder to deal with a negative outcome when you are not ready for it.

Conversely, if you prepare for a bad outcome and get a bad outcome, at least you know what your next action steps are and you can move on with life. And if you prepare for a bad outcome and get a positive result, then you have twice as much reason to celebrate !

IVF Treatment can be an emotional roller coaster ride; and mental preparation gives you some stability to cope with the ups and downs. It’s helpful if both partners have different world views, so they can balance each other !

Intelligent patients appreciate my honesty and frankness – they prefer a doctor who will tell them the unvarnished truth. Others , who cannot handle the truth , will usually move on to another doctor who is willing to promise them the moon – and who is happy to tell them what they want to hear !

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