Very often, in IVF programs, medication is not administered for ovarian stimulation but we proceed to the natural cycle; that is, we observe the natural process of the ovum/egg maturation which happens in every menstrual cycle, by use of ultrasound and hormonal testing. When the egg follicle reaches the desired size, egg harvesting follows and the fertilization process in-vitro (in the laboratory) comes next, just as in the IVF cycle.
When do we do IVF in a natural cycle?
The natural cycle is an alternative solution in many cases:
- In women who do not wish or are not allowed to be administered medication for ovarian stimulation
- In women with secondary infertility (that is they have already had a child in the past) and do not want the development and creation of many embryos
- In a history of multiple failed IVF attempts or abortions
- In women of advanced age or with a history of development of poor quality embryos in previous attempts
What are the advantages of a natural cycle IVF?
Continuously increasing success rates: with the individualization of each case, we are in a position to achieve “valuable” pregnancies; especially in women aged over 40 years old.
It is a more “natural” alternative solution to an IVF cycle. It does not involve medication and therefore, there is no possibility of side effects such as Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome and in addition, there are reduced possibilities for multiple pregnancies.
The process can be repeated in continuous cycles, without the waiting period that is often required between the usual IVF cycles.