The commonest question patients ask IVF doctors is, “What’s your success rate?” It’s an easy question to inquire, but the response could be exceedingly deceptive and therefore you must be careful how you interpret the number.
For one, a lot of doctors merely lie to you personally , and don’t tell you the truth. Indian practices aren’t obliged to report their statistics, and they can spin it any which way they want . There’s no way you can verify the figures they quote – and lots of all these are cooked up !
Secondly, doctors might be quite choosy about how they report their success rate. For instance, they could manipulate the numerator , and instead of it being the variety of babies their patients have taken home, it may be the variety of patients who get a positive pregnancy test. They manipulate the denominator too. If the denominator is just the good prognosis patients, this will obviously inflate their success rate.
Doctors will game their numbers because they want these to be as high as possible . This is the reason patients want to be sophisticated when they ask this question.
One way is to inquire, “What are the chances of becoming pregnant in your practice for a woman who is in the same scenario that I am in?” A good doctor will subsequently supply you with a more representative response , since this will likely be tailored depending on your specific medical problem. The restriction of the strategy is the fact that it is hard to draw reliable conclusions from a small sample size.
Finally, patients also should consider that while it is simple to ask the question, it is way more important to first ask yourself, “What am I going to do with this particular response?”
This really is a huge problem with statistics. It’s simple to compile them, but often amounts conceal the truth. The problem is the fact that the doctor is not a fortune teller , and can’t call this accurately .
However, lots of patients will arm-turn their doctor into giving an answer. They believe that a number will ensure that they’re making a well-informed decision. But this figure could actually be very deceptive , because the law of small amounts kicks in, which means we can not forecast what happens to individual patients. We are proficient at predicting chances when we’ve got to take care of large groups, but fail miserably when the amounts are small – and this is what generally applies in most IVF practices.
Eventually, they need to compare that number with what your chances of becoming pregnant are if you choose to do nothing. This is the reason, occasionally, even if the odds are poor, it is well worth requiring treatment , so you have reassurance which you gave infant making your best shot !