Infertility treatment involves many different options. The personal concerns, medical conditions and other course of finances plays a key role in IVF treatment. One of the most recent comeback procedures in IVF treatment is minimal stimulation IVF. This method does away with injections of ovary stimulation hormones used in standard IVF and instead relies on the natural development of the eggs. Natural IVF cycle is used with no drugs which is given for stimulation of the growth of follicles and follows the natural selection of the leading follicles.
Standard Vs Natural IVF
Conventional IVF is necessary for many people in India. It utilizes the drugs to obtain multiple eggs and create multiple embryos to increase the chances of becoming pregnant. In natural cycle IVF your doctor will not use injections or stimulation drugs. The women’s body will naturally select the best eggs for every month and release them by ovulation. When they mature, usually around the 10th day of cycle, the egg is retrieved. The egg collection is a straightforward procedure. Your doctor may avoid anesthesia as it takes less than 5 minutes to retrieve the egg. Many patients complete the procedure without the need for sedation or pain relief medication and are able to return to work on the same day of the procedure. Then the collected egg is fertilized with the partner’s sperm using modern laboratory techniques. Three to five days later a single embryo is replaced in the uterus during the embryo transfer procedure. Two weeks later, you can check for pregnancy. The entire process is based on the menstrual cycle and takes 10-14 days. Here no or minimal usage for fertility drugs and very low chance of multiple pregnancy.
Many women underwent this kind of IVF cycle to minimize the cost and the discomfort associated with ovarian stimulations. There are cases in which the results of natural cycle IVF are predicted to be the same as compared to the stimulation IVF. These patients are advised for Green IVF as the treatment of choice.
- No or minimal ovarian stimulation drugs
- Considered less stressful
- Less cost
- Can also be do repeated with back-to-back cycles
- No risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)
- Less chances of multiple pregnancy
- Cumulative pregnancy rates may be similar to the stimulation IVF cycles.
Who should choose Green IVF
- Age less than 45
- Regular menstrual cycle
- No hydrosalpinx
- Normal uterus
- No medical contraindications
- Natural cycle IVF may treat infertility who have:
- Low ovarian reserve
- No or poor response to conventional IVF
- Previous unsuccessful stimulation IVF treatments
- Male factors infertility
- Tubal occlusion
- Pelvic adhesions
Natural IVF cycle pregnancy success rates:
The concern with normal cycle IVF has focused on the lower success rates and need for multiple treatment cycles to achieve the same pregnancy rates as a single treatment cycle of stimulation IVF. The current medical literature contains many reports showing acceptable clinical pregnancy rates using natural cycle IVF ranging from 15-20% per embryo transfer. This includes patients who are known to be “poor responders” to stimulatory drugs.
Patients view this IVF as a more holistic approach to solving the issue of infertility. Sometimes women seeking treatment for infertility consider this natural IVF cycle method a bridge between natural conception and standard IVF procedure. As above there are no injections in this IVF cycle, except for the injection at the end of the cycle to time the harvesting of the egg.
The benefits of natural IVF are those in two extremes such as very young patients with tubal disease or those who have very low reserve with 1-2 egg maturing regardless of the treatment approach.
Here are some of limitations of natural cycle IVF:
- There is no option to choose the best embryos as there will only be one embryo.
- The one egg may not be viable for fertilization or develop into a healthy embryo, which would result in possibly multiple natural IVF cycles, increased cost and related complications.
- May need to multiple cycles and puncture through the vaginal wall and into ovaries. Repeated egg collection may make the needle puncture sites vulnerable to bleeding in subsequent retrievals. Lower pregnancy rates are confirmed with these IVF cycles compared to conventional IVF.