In past years, in-vitro fertilization with ovarian stimulation has largely replaced Natural Cycle in-vitro fertilization in most fertility treatment centers. It has become the new norm. The treatment developed out of the initial need to obtain many eggs and embryos to attain better success rates.
Major advances in technology have vastly improved IVF Success rates, negating the need for as many embryos, and theoretically, the need for ovarian stimulation. Yet, the protocol remains the same. However, a new study has renewed interest and feasibility of the NC-IVF process in patients that had responded poorly to a previous IVF cycle.
How Natural Cycle In-Vitro Fertilization Works
During a woman’s natural cycle, her body self selects the optimum egg to be released in that cycle. The development of the follicle containing the egg is monitored by the fertility treatment center. They use ultrasound and blood levels of estradiol to do the monitoring. When the egg has matured, it is retrieved and then fertilized in the lab. The woman returns to the treatment center 3 days later when the single embryo produced is placed inside the woman’s uterus.
What are the Advantages of Natural Cycle In-Vitro Fertilization
NC-IVF has many advantages, one of the main ones is affordability. Traditional IVF treatments cost between $10,000 and $20,000, and fertility drugs, which may or may not be included in that amount cost on average $4,000 per cycle. NC-IVF generally cost 25% less. The many other advantages include:
– For those with religious, or personal concerns about surplus eggs or embryos being either stored or destroyed, NC-IVF offers a positive options.
– An option for those who are not able to take fertility drugs, such as cancer patients or those at risk of developing ovarian hyper-stimulation (OHSS).
– A simple process that requires fewer office visits and fewer days missed work.
– Pregnancy rates comparable to IVF when adjusted for multiple embryo placement.
– Eliminates the risk of ovarian hyper-stimulation (OHSS)
– Reduced risk of multiple embryos, and eliminates likelihood of high order multiples in pregnancy.
What are the Disadvantages of Natural Cycle In-Vitro Fertilization?
One of the main disadvantages of NC-IVF is premature surges in hormones and ovulation. This can occur in up to half of all menstrual cycles.
The second main disadvantage is that pregnancy rates are seemingly lower than with conventional IVF, where multiple are placed in the uterus. However, due to the simplicity of the procedure, it can be performed consecutively. When this adjustment is made, many fertility treatment centers show a cumulative pregnancy rate of about 50% with patients 35 years old and younger.
Who are the Best Candidates for Natural Cycle IVF?
The best patients for natural cycle IVF treatments have regular menstrual cycles and are 35 years old an younger. Another qualification that increases success is a normal day 3 FSH and estradiol levels. Those patients with diminished ovarian reserve or abnormal day 3 hormone levels are not considered good candidates by many reproductive endocrinologists and fertility treatment centers.
Andi Beark –
About the Author:
Andi Beark is an author interested in women’s issues such as fertility and pregnancy. Fertility Treatment Centers offers information on treatment options such as Fertility Treatment Centers and allow their national network of experts help you get started.