Natural Cycle IVF is an excellent IVF option for many women experiencing infertility. It is also known as drug-free IVF since it doesn’t require fertility medication, ensuring that you avoid drugs that stimulate the ovaries to create multiple follicles. The procedure prioritises the quality of your eggs instead of the quantity, so it works with your body’s natural menstrual cycle to collect naturally selected egg(s). Here is what to know about natural cycle IVF before beginning the procedure.
A Viable IVF Option For Nearly All Infertility Patients
Natural cycle IVF is widely regarded as a great IVF option for almost all women experiencing infertility. However, three groups of patients benefit significantly from this treatment option. These groups are:
- Women over 40 with a decreased ovarian reserve and elevated FSH have experienced no success with conventional IVF.
- Young women with only a history of male factor infertility and tubal disease.
- Patients with a strong family history of cancer or a history of hormone-sensitive cancer.
Natural IVF Cycle Procedure
You can contact your fertility specialist on the first day of your period in the cycle to inform them of your decision to undergo treatment. Your specialist will monitor your cycle by conducting blood tests to determine your hormone levels. In addition, they will perform vaginal ultrasound scans to keep an eye on follicle growth. When a dominant follicle forms, your specialist will perform a transvaginal egg collection. You will be sedated for this procedure, and the entire session will last about 15 minutes. If your specialist retrieves an egg successfully, it will be inseminated using either intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or standard IVF, depending on the sperm’s quality. Then, the resulting embryo (s) will be transferred to your uterus two to three days later.
Natural Cycle IVF Advantages
- The procedure lowers the chances of side effects and complications like Ovarian Hyper-stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) resulting from Clomid, Letrozole, and other fertility drugs.
- You will undergo a shorter and safer procedure since only one or two eggs are collected. Also, only local anaesthesia is required for egg retrieval so that you can avoid the costs and risk of general anaesthesia.
- The risk of multiple pregnancies is reportedly less than 1% since only a single egg is received and transferred.
- You can avoid the discomfort and stress of daily injections.
- The procedure requires less frequent office visits compared to conventional IVF.
- Natural cycle IVF is cheaper than conventional IVF because it is a drug-free procedure, making it an excellent option for couples with less financial resources and limited access to care.
Natural Cycle IVF Disadvantages
- Only one dominant follicle develops in the natural cycle of IVF, so your fertility specialist may not get an egg. Also, the egg may not develop into a healthy embryo.
- There are no extra embryos to choose from or store away since there is only one egg. However, your specialist may be able to freeze embryos from the initial few cycles before beginning embryo transfer if you wish to store multiple embryos.