Answer from: Raúl Olivares, MD
When we talk about natural IVF, patients tend to think that these are completely natural cycles, so in cases in which we do not give any single injections, hormones and the patients proceed with the natural cycle, and they only take the injection that is going to trigger the ovulation and proceed with the egg collection. In most cases, this is not like that, the groups who usually perform natural IVF use very low doses of hormones for a few days just to make the follicle grow in the right conditions. The protocol is not going to be like a normal IVF, but the idea is that they start with the natural cycle, and then on day 4-5, there are a few injections given of either FSH or hMG to help to boost the follicle growth, and then they stop it.
The follicle continues to grow, and when the follicle reaches between 18-20 millimetres, they take the last injection, the hCG, and they proceed with the egg collection, which is usually done without any sedation, any anaesthesia because you only have to go for one follicle, so that’s something that the patients usually can handle very well, without needing to be on surgery, in an operation room.
Don’t think that the natural cycle means no hormones at all. You are usually going to take a very low dose for a few days, but that’s it, and of course, the last injection to trigger the ovulation.
What is the process of natural cycle IVF, and how it differs from normal IVF?
Is the IVF cycle without stimulation something to consider? What may patients think about such a solution? What is the average number of patients who succeed with the natural IVF cycle?