IVF is known to have a physical and mental impact on patients and their partners. As some women prefer to have a milder IVF experience, they opt for Natural Cycle IVF or Mild IVF.
Learn about the pros and cons of Natural IVF and Mild IVF, and discover the right decision for you.
21 May 2020
Natural Cycle IVF
How to prepare for IVF
What is the difference between natural and mild IVF?
IVF is known to have a physical and mental impact on patients and their partners. As some women prefer to have a milder IVF experience, they opt for Natural Cycle IVF or Mild IVF. Also, as Natural IVF doesn’t require any stimulation and Mild IVF requires less drugs than conventional IVF, the cost is significantly lower for these treatments – please click here to view our pricing.
Learn the pros and cons of Natural IVF and Mild IVF, how it is different from the standard IVF treatment and discover whether it could be the right decision for you.
What is natural IVF?
While standard IVF uses high doses of stimulation drugs to develop lots of follicles, Natural IVF, aligns with your natural menstrual cycle and focuses on collecting the one egg naturally selected by the body.
Natural cycle IVF – who is it for?
Natural IVF could be a great option for women who have had no success with conventional IVF in the past or do not want to take any stimulating drugs. You could consider Natural IVF if you:
– Are at high risk of hormone-dependent cancers due to their family history.
Advantages of natural cycle IVF:
– No drugs – Natural IVF cycle doesn’t require taking any medication used in standard IVF.
– Reduced risk of OHSS – Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome can include symptoms of nausea, vomiting, rapid weight gain, tight or enlarged abdomen, shortness of breath or bloating. Mild OHSS can occur to 30% of women who are going through conventional IVF, however, severe cases are rare.
– Fewer health risks – Natural Cycle IVF may be beneficial to protect your health if you are at high risk for oestrogen-related cancers due to your family medical history, or have endometriosis or other medical conditions such as melanoma or clotting problems.
– Higher quality eggs – Natural IVF uses the eggs that are naturally selected by the body which can be of higher quality than the ones produced in a stimulated IVF cycle.
– Repeat the treatment sooner – if you wish to repeat the Natural IVF cycle, you can try again sooner than with conventional IVF as your ovaries aren’t being stimulated.
– Lower premature birth rate – studies have shown that there is a reduced risk of having a low birth weight and prematurity with babies born through Natural IVF Cycle.
– Better implantation – by avoiding stimulation drugs, the womb is more receptive and has a healthier lining, which can increase the chances of successful embryo implantation that could lead to a successful pregnancy.
– Reduced side effects and emotional burden – studies have shown that high stimulation can have a significant physical and psychological effect on patients, whereas Natural IVF could be a less stressful experience – read how stress can affect fertility and IVF here.
Disadvantages of natural cycle IVF:
– Lower success rate compared to stimulated IVF.
– In only 50-70% of cycles, an embryo will be available to be transferred to the womb.
– There are usually no surplus embryos to cryopreserve (to freeze).
– Approx. 30% of cycles have to be cancelled due to premature ovulation.
What is mild IVF?
Similarly to Natural IVF, Mild IVF works around your natural menstrual cycle, although it requires some hormonal stimulation to produce 2-10 eggs. The dosage of medication during Mild IVF is still lower than during conventional IVF. Mild IVF treatment usually takes around 2 weeks including 5-9 days of medication.
Who would consider mild IVF?
Mild IVF could be a great choice for women who want the benefits of more natural treatment with a higher chance of success. Mild IVF could be suitable for:
– Women with a reduced ovarian reserve.
– Couples where only the male is infertile.
– Women with Polycystic Ovaries (PCO)/Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
– Women who do not want the treatment to have a significant physical or emotional impact.
Advantages of mild IVF:
– Mild IVF is different from Natural IVF as stimulating drugs are given with the aim of achieving a mild response. The process and benefits are as follows:
– Mild response to stimulating medication.
– Reduced risks and side effects in comparison to standard IVF.
– Reduced risk of OHSS.
– Women with a low ovarian reserve may produce better quality embryos from a small number of eggs if a lower dose of stimulation is used (i.e. if there are only 2-5 eggs available to mature each month, they will be of higher quality with mild stimulation. High stimulation doses are recommended only if they’re going to give you a high number of eggs).
Disadvantages of mild IVF:
– Lower success rates when compared to standard IVF.
– Fewer eggs are collected.
– Due to fewer embryos being formed, there are fewer embryos to transfer.
– If multiple cycles are required, the treatment could get more expensive than conventional IVF.
Natural Cycle IVF or Mild IVF could be a great alternative if you find the idea of conventional IVF too daunting, as the overall experience is milder and has fewer side effects. If you are considering having IVF, read our guide on how to prepare for IVF here. At The Evewell, we deeply care about all our patients and their loved ones. If you are thinking about fertility or IVF, please get in touch with us and we can help. Our Fertility experts will be able to guide you through the IVF process and help you decide on the right treatment for you. Get in touch with us by either emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or giving us a call on 020 3974 0950.
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