"Natural Cycle IVF" at West Coast Fertility Centers: Affordable IVF at Last
An exciting NEW development that mimics a natural pregnancy is now available at West Coast Fertility Centers. It enhances the way nature selects the best egg for ovulation in a natural cycle. Let's examine how a natural spontaneous pregnancy compares to our NEW "Natural IVF" (NIVF) treatment.
How Does a Natural Pregnancy Occur?
When a woman becomes pregnant naturally in a spontaneous cycle, her ovaries release just one or two mature eggs which then pass into the fallopian tubes where the male's sperm reaches the egg and fertilizes it. If all goes well in this natural environment, the fertilized egg is nourished to become an embryo while still gliding through the fallopian tube for about five days. Upon arrival into the internal chamber of the uterus, the embryo begins the implantation process.
During this phase, the embryo releases chemical signals which are received by the uterine wall, indicating it is ready to attach. The uterine tissue, in turn, also produces chemical signaling to the embryo. This is called uterine receptivity, and indicates all is in readiness for the embryo to nest itself in the uterine wall.
During the next few days, the attachment process continues and the new interface between embryo and uterus, called the implantation site begins producing the pregnancy hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), resulting in a positive pregnancy test. If pregnancy continues normally, the embryo grows and the rate of hCG production increases rapidly. Ultrasound confirms the growing gestational sac about 4 weeks after implantation occurs.
What is "Natural IVF" and How Does it Work?
"Natural IVF" (NIVF) is an exciting and affordable NEW FERTILIY TREATMENT offered at West Coast Fertility Centers to selected patients who have mild forms of infertility but still need help becoming pregnant. NIVF mimics the natural process by helping the woman's ovaries produce the natural healthy egg she would produce in her own cycle.
The photo below shows an ultrasound picture of one mature follicle about to be aspirated to extract the oocyte (egg).
Usually one, but occasionally two eggs are released in natural cycles. With NIVF, we help the ovaries to develop the naturally selected one or two follicles and eggs. The follicles are aspirated under IV sedation and the harvested eggs are replaced to the uterus 3 days later. Some women may take progesterone capsules to help support the uterine lining. A pregnancy is confirmed two weeks after the transfer.
Who is a Candidate for Natural IVF?
Patient selection is critical for someone to have a reasonable chance for success using NIVF. We have developed specific guidelines which must be met before reco mmending NIVF:
1. Body Weight: A BMI <32 is required to qualify for NIVF. A person who is overweight or obese may not ovulate regularly or she may have hormone imbalances that interfere with the ovulatory process. In many fertility patients struggling with obesity, activity of adipose tissue frequently disrupts the body's normal hormone signals.
2. Patient Age: Age is a source of great confusion for clients undergoing fertility treatment. Each of the patients we see in our practice has a different fertility potential compared to other patients. It is easy to imagine that patients in their early 30's have good ovarian reserve and therefore are likely to have good pregnancy rates. However not all youthful patients undergoing IVF respond to fertility medications.
On the other hand, some patients over 38, who tried traditional IVF, may have not responded to fertility medications. In each of these examples, Natural IVF uses the body's exquisitely tuned mechanism to recruitment a limited number of follicles and selection of the most favorable follicle containing the egg cell during that particular cycle. The egg is harvested, inseminated and transferred to the uterus. It is assumed that the natural selection will favor the development of the most efficient egg and embryo during the Natural IVF cycle.
In cases of advanced maternal age we may advise stockpiling 3 or 4 embryos and transferring them to enhance the likelihood of pregnancy
3 .Hormonal Studies: FSH <9miu/ml; Estradiol <60pg/ml; AMH >1.0: These hormones are laboratory indicators of reassuring ovarian reserve and are good markers for predicting response during NIVF. However even patients with a single aberrant lab test may ultimately achieve pregnancy but we cannot predict exactly when this might occur.
4. Regular Menstruation every 28-32 days: This pattern of regular cycles suggests normal hormonal signaling between ovaries and the pituitary gland and indicates a favorable environment for an egg to be harvested.
5. Pelvic Ultrasound: Vaginal ultrasound is excellent for evaluating the size of each ovary to be about 2 to 4 CM³. and there should be at least five resting follicles per ovary
6. Male Testing: The sperm parameters should meet at least the following criteria: Sperm Count >20 million/ml; Motility > 40%; Strict Criteria morphology >4%.
7. Absence of any medical condition that would place a patient at high risk for pregnancy.
8. Clomid patients who have undergone 3 or more cycles without success.
What are the Advantages of Natural IVF?
AFFORDABILITY - In NIVF cycles, we are helping to support the growth of the naturally selected one or two eggs that develop during the treatment cycle. Medication cost is low because only a minimal of amount is used to encourage growth of the naturally selected one or two eggs.
LESS MONITORING - Fewer ultrasound studies and fewer blood tests are needed because only one or two follicles are expected to develop.
LESS ANESTHESIA - Only minimal anesthesia is needed for the egg harvest because just one or two follicles are harvested in about 10 minutes.
LESS CHANCE OF MULTIPLE BIRTHS - Only one or two embryos are transferred.
To find out if you are a candidate for Natural IVF (NIVF), our patient care coordinators will help you complete testing to determine if you are eligible. Please call 714-513-1399 and ask about Natural IVF. We also invite you to request an appointment online.