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Natural cycle IVF or Ovarian stimulation protocol?

The dilemma confronting several young couples who are interested in IVF treatment is whether it would be best to undergo natural cycle IVF instead of a stimulated one.

To answer this problem one should look at statistics. In cases of women, where the collection of 2-3 oocytes during oocyte retrieval is predicted, ovarian stimulation is recommended. The increased number of oocytes that we collect after ovarian stimulation subsequently increases the number of embryos which are suitable for transfer. The increased number of available embryos for transfer allows us to select the highest quality embryos.  This option is not available in natural cycle IVF.

It is particularly restrictive, regarding fertilisation potential and a positive outcome, to invest all our hopes in a single oocyte. As our aims regarding fertility increase, so does the possibility of finding quality embryos for transfer.

However, in cases of ovarian insufficiency, where the use of gonadotropins is fruitless, the choice of a slightly modified natural cycle is considered a wise choice. We refer to a modified natural cycle due to the uncertain outcome of a completely natural cycle. The administration of drugs for mild stimulation from day 6-7 of the cycle, combined with the administration of the antagonist can increase the chances for a successful outcome.

There may be times where these types of therapies are more economically advantageous although they have lower success rates.


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