Natural cycle IVF

A clinician undertakes natural cycle IVFWhat is natural cycle IVF?

Natural cycle IVF involves collecting and fertilising the one egg that you release during your normal monthly cycle. No fertility drugs are used in this treatment.

 

Is natural cycle IVF for me?

It may be worth discussing this treatment option with your clinician if your periods are fairly regular and you are ovulating normally, but:

 

  • you are unable to take fertility drugs (for example, cancer patients or those whose clinician has suggested that they are at risk of OHSS – ovarian hyper-stimulation – a dangerous over-reaction to fertility drugs)
  • because for personal or religious beliefs you do not wish to have surplus eggs or embryos destroyed or stored.

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How does natural cycle IVF work?

The treatment is the same as conventional IVF, but without the fertility drugs that are used to stop natural egg production and hormones that boost the supply of eggs.

As your ovaries aren’t being artificially stimulated, you don’t need to rest as you would after conventional IVF.

If your treatment is unsuccessful, you can try again sooner if you wish.

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What is my chance of having a baby with natural cycle IVF?

Live birth rates are lower per treatment cycle than with conventional (stimulated) IVF. Because this treatment does not rely on any artificial aids, much depends on your individual circumstances. You may not produce an egg, it may not be collected at the right time or it may not develop into an embryo.

In the year from 01/01/2008 - 31/12/2008, for women receiving natural cycle IVF using fresh embryos created with their own eggs, the percentage of cycles that resulted in a live birth (National Averages) was:

  • ** (1/26) for women aged under 35
  • ** (1/21) for women aged between 35-37
  • **(0/34) for women aged between 38-39
  • 1.3% (1/77) for women aged between 40-42
  • **(0/25) for women aged between 43-44
  • **(0/2) for women aged over 44

** Percentages are not calculated where there are less than 50 cycles. Figures given in brackets are (cycles resulting in a live birth / all cycles started).

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What are the risks of natural cycle IVF?

The risks with natural cycle IVF are lower than those with conventional IVF. Natural cycle IVF avoids the side effects of fertility drugs and you are less likely to have twins or triplets.

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Page last updated: 14 April 2009

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