Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Confused with the long list of tests before IVF?

Giving a long list of expensive and painful tests to infertile couples, which might be unnecessary, is like fooling gullible patients in their state of susceptibility. Sometimes, infertile couples are informed that the IVF clinic follows certain clinical protocol, which cannot be violated. The patients could be seen reluctant to cross question the doctors about the need of so many tests rather they cram list and do as asked to.

This situation might land patient in double trouble, first the expensive tests would burn their pockets, second the unnecessary surgical procedure are a painful deal that patients should not undergo for unless needed.

It is understandable that patients are hesitant to cross question their doctors as they need to trust them but blind trust can be sometimes a signal of loss for infertile couples. The reason being, few doctors might want to safeguard their interests before patients and blind trust blurs the conscience.

So, before such commercial considerations come to play, patients should ensure protecting themselves from overtreatment. 

Patients should be well-informed, and undergo the test only if the test results help better clinical outcome. Otherwise, the accumulation unnecessary test documents might turn out to be a futile effort. 

No test can be a routine, it depends on the response of patient to the treatment. So, if you are undergoing routine tests according the long list provided, then it surely a wrong sign.

For example, hysteroscopy might be a valuable test performed before IVF treatment to determine whether the cavity is normal or not. But, pre-IVF hysteroscopy is sometimes enough and ultrasound vaginal scan could be another (better) option to replace the surgical procedure of hysteroscopy because it also helps checking the proper functionality of endometrium. 

Few doctors might not take pain to do the priority sorting of necessary tests for every particular patients, after all, it is tedious and might slash their profit chart. But, as an learned patient, you need to be on the right side of fence to decide what is good for you.

Patients should not be discouraged and first delve into the details either consulting the doctor freely or internet.  

Not all IVF doctors would do like about, they would ask for only those tests, which would help achieving pregnancy. If the doctor tries to dodge the questions, then consider it as red signal. After all, the transparent communication is the foundation of doctor-patient relation. 

Say “NO” to overtreatment or over testing. IVF is not gathering of information through tests; rather it is undergoing only those tests which act as catalyst in getting pregnant.

Dr Neeraj Pahlajani

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