Answer from: Raúl Olivares, MD
Yes, IVF can be done without hormones, but the results are going to be lower compared to the ones where you get hormones.
An example would be a completely natural IVF cycle. We know that in these cases, the risk of performing the egg collection, and not getting the eggs could be really high. It’s even up to 50% of the cases, depending on the age and the patient’s indication.
Even when the clinics do a Natural IVF, they still use some low doses of gonadotrophins in the first phase of the cycles, and always they use hormones to trigger the ovulation. The timing between the ovulation when you’re collecting the eggs needs to be very precise.
Afterwards, as we know progesterone in Natural cycles should be within normal levels in the majority of cases. Despite knowing that, we recommend taking progesterone in excess, it is never an issue, but lack of progesterone may lead to a negative.
Taking a couple of pessaries in a natural IVF or an IUI just to be sure that the levels of progesterone are okay, it’s always a good thing to do. I wouldn’t rely on a completely natural cycle, except in very specific circumstances.
Is it possible to go through the IVF cycles without hormones?
Do I have to take hormones for IVF? Can I do IVF without hormone injections? Is natural cycle recommended, and if, so in which cases?