IVF clinic ‘pushed me to do most invasive procedure’
In the year leading to the 40th anniversary of the first in vitro fertilization (IVF) birth, and as the ReproTech industry continues to grow (IVF market projected to reach $26B by 2022), we share the untold stories. Here’s one that reveals how clinics try to capture new leads.
I stumbled upon your [Silent Sorority] blog recently when trying to make sense of my IVF experience – or near-experience. What resonates with me in particular is that IVF has become an industry, and not just for the infertile, and not just for issues that it was developed for (blocked tubes, sperm issues).
So this is my story. I am 41 years old and have a son that I conceived at first try at the age of 36. About a year ago we made the decision to try for another child. My gynecologist said, good luck, in 3-6 months go to a RE clinic. In two months I was pregnant, but it was a chemical pregnancy. Two months later, after much research, I went for a consult at a well-regarded clinic. My numbers were great – AFC 26, AMH 2.9 and FSH 4.5, everything normal. The doctor called me back immediately after the results and said that I was a great candidate for IVF and spent some time discussing how PGD (preimplantation genetic testing) would also enable me to choose gender if I wanted to balance my family.
I found that weird. Nurse also called to get me ready to cycle in a month or two (she also mentioned how it was great that I had such generous insurance).
I did not cycle because I got pregnant naturally that month. But miscarried.
Back to the clinic – now my question was, listen, I have gotten pregnant twice in 5 months on my own. Miscarried, sure, but do I really need IVF? Shouldn’t I just try on my own? Are there other issues causing me to miscarry?
Absolutely you do need IVF, was the answer. You are 40. You need IVF with ICSI and PGD. Only way to make sure you do not miscarry.
Sigh. I researched some more and again pushed them – is IVF really the solution? They ran a miscarriage panel then, finally, which was normal.
Yup, IVF with PGD is your answer. When are you cycling already?
Now I am approaching 41. We set the date to start the cycle. Never got there. 4 months after my miscarriage I conceived again naturally. I am now 12 weeks pregnant and all is well. When I called the clinic to report the pregnancy, the nurse was clearly annoyed.
I have since done a lot of reading. I don’t think I was ever infertile and I probably did not need to go through any of this. After all, my mother had her menopause at 60 and my grandmother had a natural pregnancy at 46. But the IVF clinic was pushing me to do the most invasive procedure there is because I had great numbers at my age (and generous insurance).
If you have a story about questionable practices or a negative IVF or egg freezing clinic experience that provides added context about how the ReproTech industry operates, please leave a comment or contact us at info (@) reprotechtruths [dot] org.
More on the IVF procedure add-on ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) its overuse and potential harms. ICSI concerns reported here as well as a call for more IVF clinic and related procedure research.