How to know how many is too many?


When it comes to fertility treatments it is really hard to make choices or to know when it is time to step back and reconsider what we are doing.

Most patients are so focused in having a successful treatment that they spend most of their time planning how to make it possible. I understand this and can relate to the story myself. Patients become too obsessed with positive results, and when they do not get them, there is too much disappointment because their expectations were set too high. Also considering the amount of money that cost having these type of treatments.

I do my best to explain the implications of fertility treatments, the advantages and disadvantages than come with it, the emotional burden that causes, and the cost of trying too many times. Even when sometimes feel I have been too strong or harsh explaining the case and probabilities of success, I do so because it is better to know the true than live in a dream. And that is exactly what I like my patients to know, the true. Many times the true it is not pleasant, but helps to prepare for any circumstance and event that might arise prior, during and after the fertility treatment.

How to know when do you need to stop? When you have had 3 un-successful attempts for intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF/ICSI). Take a step back for a while, reconsider the probabilities and possibilities of a future successful attempt, and talk to your doctor about your feelings and doubts.

I have found many patients coming to our clinic looking for answers. Some of them have had several prior attempts, sometimes more than 6 in a row. And if we try to discuss the alternatives, the possible causes and what they had done, 80% of them have no idea of what procedure they had, how many embryos they got and even if they still have frozen embryos. What I concluded is that 1 in 4 couples coming to our practice and coming from other clinics, do not remember what was discussed with their doctors and the type of treatment they had or will have.

To undergo a fertility treatment it is necessary some preparation. It is not for everyone to understand and digest all the information that will be provided in the clinic. Everything happens too quickly. Communication with your specialist is vital. Counselling and guidance is strongly advisable.


It is important to receive proper counseling and guidance prior to the fertility procedure.

When the fertility treatment starts becoming more a problem than a solution, it might be time to step back and find guidance. There is a list of guides and counselors who offer this kind of help.

I myself offer this service if you wish to talk about it.