Natural cycle IVF is a fertility treatment based on obtaining only one egg of extremely high quality. In some cases, fertility clinics offer this option since we know that sometimes our bodies are the best at choosing the highest quality egg.
Natural cycle IVF is a simple treatment done, as its name indicates, during the patient’s cycle without any hormonal medication. It is necessary to monitor the cycle to make sure we can time the egg retrieval right before the natural ovulation. Once the egg has been obtained we fertilise it in our laboratory and we cultivate it to reach an optimal state for it to be transferred and result in a pregnancy.
Different kinds of natural cycles
Depending on the protocol, a natural cycle IVF can be:
- Natural cycle: we do not use any type of medication during the ovulation process. We only perform ultrasound and hormonal controls to check the follicular development until ovulation. Once we see the ovulation process has started we schedule the egg retrieval. The downside of this option is that several controls need to be done in order to correctly identify when ovulation starts.
- Modified natural cycle: in this case we keep the follicular development in a natural way, but we also include a medication at a very low dosage to avoid spontaneous ovulation. By doing so we are able to control when ovulation starts thus achieving better results.
Depending on the sperm we use, a natural cycle IVF can be done with:
- Partner’s sperm: spermatozoids are obtained via masturbation. When we have no spermatozoids in the ejaculation we may get them through testicular aspiration (TESA) or with a testicular biopsy (TESE).
- Sperm bank: Sperm donors are young men with good mental and physical health. In order to be a donor one needs to undergo several tests, including a study about personal and family history, a psychological evaluation, an andrology study, a blood test to make sure there are no infectious diseases, and all necessary genetic analysis.
Who is a natural cycle recommended for?
The results we get from a natural IVF are lower than those using hormonal stimulation.
Therefore, a natural cycle IVF is indicated for the following patients:
- Patients with a low ovarian reserve who do not want to opt for an egg donation. In these cases, it is an alternative for those who have already had an IVF with stimulation and have got no positive results.
- Patients who do not wish to undergo hormonal stimulation to obtain more eggs, since a natural cycle’s main goal is to obtain only one prime quality egg.
Regardless, we always have a medical diagnosis done before undergoing such a treatment.
If you want to know more about a natural cycle IVF do not hesitate to get in touch with us.