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Natural Cycle IVF: What do I need to know?


What is Natural Cycle IVF?

Natural Cycle is an option for women who do not respond well to fertility medication or who have poor ovarian reserve. Such women do not produce more than one natural egg per month, regardless of stimulation medication. During a Natural Cycle, the single natural egg created by the body is retrieved, injected with sperm and, if fertilized, the embryo is transferred to the uterus. No stimulation medication is prescribed during a Natural Cycle. To read about the steps of a Natural Cycle in detail, visit the Natural Cycle IVF page.  


Are there any drugs taken in a Natural Cycle? 

There is only one injection of hCG administered to promote full maturation of the eggs before retrieval. In the case that some medication is administered, that is referred to as a Mini IVF Cycle. 


What are the advantages and disadvantages of Natural Cycle IVF? 

Advantages

  • Utilizes the body's normal ovulation process
  • May be repeated month after month if necessary
  • Less discomfort
  • Decreased risk of multiple births compared to conventional IVF-ICSI
  • No risk of hyper-stimulation (over stimulating the ovaries with medication)

Disadvantages

  • Only one egg (at most two) is retrieved, reducing chances of fertilization, embryo transfer and pregnancy
  • The success rate per cycle is less than that of conventional IVF

Who are the best candidates for Natural Cycle IVF?

  • Women who do not respond well to stimulating medicines 
  • Women with a poor ovarian reserve 
  • Women with a history of breast or ovarian cancer