Patients undergoing an in-vitro fertilization cycle manage a variety of medications. At every stage of the treatment process, these medications offer support and increase the likelihood that a family will welcome a new child into their home. Unfortunately, each medication also introduces new opportunities for errors.
What should patients know about the role of medication in invitro fertilization?
In-vitro fertilization cycles involve different medications at every stage.
Patients undergoing in-vitro fertilization may take different medications at each stage of this process. Doctors may prescribe birth control pills to help a patient reach a specific baseline for the procedure or to better schedule the IVF cycle. Before retrieving eggs, patients may take a variety of medications to help the body produce a high number of eggs and to manage the timing of ovulation. Other medications provide support during the implantation process.
What happens if a healthcare provider makes a mistake?
Proper management of these medications throughout the IVF cycle can be key to a successful cycle, and patients rely on doctors, nurses, medical records technicians and pharmacists alike during this process. Unfortunately, an error on the part of any of these healthcare professionals can limit how effective treatment will be.
Doctors may prescribe the wrong medication or fail to identify drug interactions. Transcription errors could lead to miscommunications about the dosage or administration of the medication. Pharmacist errors — as illustrated by one 2015 New Zealand case in which a pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication — can lead to an IVF cycle being abandoned entirely.
Not only can these medication errors impact the likelihood of pregnancy, they could also put patients’ health at risk. Families impacted by medication mistakes during in-vitro fertilization cycles may want to explore their options to learn how they can pursue compensation and seek justice.