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I’m More than a Number

IVF Patients are More than Numbers

a blog by Amy Klein, February 14, 2014

Yes, we fertility patients would like more personal oversight from our clinics, as well as more attention paid to our schedules but before I move on (yes, I will be covering other items!) the last issue I’d like to discuss is how we patients can be treated as individuals.

I suppose this is an issue for all healthcare, especially in these uncertain transitional times, but as a good deal of fertility patients pay out of pocket for treatment, I have to wonder: Why do we often feel like a number?

Sometimes we feel like numbers when we’re sitting endlessly in the waiting room. Sometimes it’s when we’re frantically waiting for a callback from the clinic. And once in a while, it’s when we are mixed up with someone else. (“Um, no, I got my period last week, so I can’t come in for a retrieval.”)

But other times we also feel like a statistic. As in one of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine statistics, which are used to measure a clinic’s success. Of course the clinics want us all to get pregnant and have a live healthy baby, but if not, a pregnancy will do well for the clinic’s stats too.

Sometimes when we come to a new clinic, it feels like the doctor wants to try this or try that, like it was a recipe he had to put his/her own stamp on. They want to try their protocol, instead of moving straightaway to the most aggressive treatment, such as ICSI or aspirin therapy (especially if previous treatments at other clinics show you need it). I wish clinics would assume that every cycle is the last one. Not that we’re there for three. (Three being the magic number in IVF). One piece of advice I recently got was to “never do the same protocol twice.” Change the medicine dosage, the stimulation protocol, the timing, something – no matter what the clinic’s practice.

Because you know what they say: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.


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