I Just Read That IVF Has Potential Risks. Now What Do I Do?

“Now what do I do? I am just ready to commit myself to IVF and this article about a report in the New England Journal of Medicine comes out about potential risks to children and possible ill effects of ICSI and IVF. Oy Vey!”

This question was asked of me in several counseling sessions last week by women who have struggled with ramping up their treatment and finally wrapped their brains around more medical intervention to try to conceive. Now they are hit with information that makes them question the decision to go the next step.
This question addresses a necessity in participating in, not only infertility health care, but any type of medical care, and that is “trust in your doctor”. Realization that any health care carries a set of risks, as every doctor will tell you, understanding those risks and having someone who can explain them in laymen’s terms with accuracy and honesty is crucial. Whenever a patient is emotionally dealing with a medical decision, my first question is always, “what did your doctor say”? And I am surprised at the variation in the responses to this question: “well, I haven’t asked her yet”; or “he’s so busy” or “but the article says”, on and on and on. Asking your doctor is always one’s first line of defense because their explanation of a news article or internet information will provide you with what these sources aren’t saying. Your doctor should always have more information than any article can report. Clarification of the information and the spin will be helpful in making a decision that is right for you. Ask, Ask, Ask.
~Claudia Pascale, PhD

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