Natural Cycle IVF in a 35-year-old for the 2nd time!

Good Morning. This is Dr. Michael DiMattina, Medical Director of Dominion Fertility in Arlington, Virginia. I want to talk to you about Natural Cycle IVF. 

I just did an egg collection on a patient who is about 35 years of age. Two years ago, she got pregnant using Natural Cycle IVF, where we took one egg, produced one embryo, and she got pregnant on her second embryo transfer. She is back today, ready for another pregnancy, and she underwent Natural Cycle IVF again. We easily collected the one egg. We plan to fertilize it this afternoon, transfer the embryo in a few days, and hopefully, she will have her second baby.

Two years ago, she got pregnant using Natural Cycle IVF, where we took one egg, produced one embryo, and she got pregnant on her second embryo transfer. She is back today, ready for another pregnancy, and she underwent Natural Cycle IVF again

The world’s first IVF baby, produced in 1978, was from Natural Cycle IVF. Unfortunately, the pregnancy rates with IVF in those days were very low. Doctors began to use ovarian stimulation drugs and perform stimulated IVF in order to get more eggs and more embryos. Then they would transfer more embryos, in the hope that one of these embryos would implant. Well, that was then. Fast forward to today and we find our technology and our knowledge have improved tremendously, so we don’t need to do that, where we transfer many embryos. In fact, if we do that now, we end up with an “Octomom” situation, basically a disaster. We’re able to perform Natural Cycle IVF as long as a patient has regular menstrual cycles and a normal uterus. A patient who has regular menstrual cycles ovulates regularly, therefore we can collect the egg, fertilize it, transfer it, and try to get her pregnant without using ovarian stimulation drugs. These drugs are safe, but they are expensive, so a lot of patients use Natural Cycle IVF because they can’t afford to undergo stimulated IVF and use the ovarian stimulation drugs. Other patients, who have failed to get pregnant through traditional stimulated IVF, try Natural Cycle IVF, and often are pregnant and successful using that treatment.

One of my patients, whom I helped using Natural Cycle IVF, tried stimulated IVF between the ages of 41 and 43, and she failed four treatments of stimulated IVF. This cost her about $150,000 at another fertility center.

Indeed, one of my patients, whom I helped using Natural Cycle IVF, tried stimulated IVF between the ages of 41 and 43, and she failed four treatments of stimulated IVF. This cost her about $150,000 at another fertility center. She came to see me at age 47½, and I told her, really, she should use an egg donor at that age, but she still had regular menstrual cycles and she wanted to do Natural Cycle IVF. So, we did. We got the egg, fertilized it, and on her very first embryo transfer she got pregnant, and she had a normal, healthy baby. She was very lucky. In fact, I told her she hit the medical lottery.

Challenges of Natural Cycle IVF

Natural Cycle IVF can be very useful for people who have failed stimulated IVF, patients who don’t want ovarian stimulation drugs, or who can’t afford ovarian stimulation drugs. However, it is important to note that Natural Cycle IVF comes with its own set of challenges. Medicated IVF offers the advantage of producing multiple mature eggs. With Natural Cycle IVF, each treatment only involves a single egg. If a patient prematurely ovulates, the egg cannot be retrieved, or it does not successfully fertilize,   the cycle could be canceled at any stage. Meanwhile, stimulated IVF allows the retrieval of multiple eggs. This gives the patient a higher chance of developing a vital embryo. Any vital embryos not implanted can then be safely frozen and transferred later. In some cases, Natural Cycle IVF can lead to repeated treatments, greater costs, and more extensive time requirements for patients. In fact, many patients need 3-4 natural cycles to achieve the results of a stimulated IVF cycle. To support the greatest possible chances of success with our treatments, Dominion Fertility only offers stimulated IVF and donor egg IVF services at this time.

Our philosophy is to design a treatment option that works specifically for you. We do not use formulated cookie-cutter medicine, where everybody gets this treatment and if that doesn’t work, then you get the second treatment. Every couple is looked at individually and treatment programs are designed specifically for their needs. We invite you to contact our fertility specialists to discuss your options today.

 

Dr. Michael DiMattina, Medical Director, Dominion Fertility

Arlington, Virginia  

Learn more about Natural Cycle IVF.