In Vitro Fertilisation has come more and more into focus in recent months with the unfortunate passing of its forefather, Professor Sir Robert Edwards. With it, comes a look at how much IVF has developed not only as a concept but in its procedures.
Whilst conventional IVF was for years considered the most suitable procedure, further research and development has brought about newer, safer and less costly procedures.
Known as Natural or Mild Stimulation IVF, this procedure focuses on the patient and their response to more natural forms of treatment, as opposed to the ovarian drug induced procedures experience with conventional IVF. Clinics up and down the country are looking at ways at advancing IVF treatment as we know it, and some simply specialise in Natural IVF.
What cause’s much of the debate surrounding the two procedures is simply the levels of success rates as oppose to the symptoms suffered by the patient. What practitioners are gearing towards is a process that requires less to no drug stimulation combined with healthier, more fertile eggs to incur a greater chance of conception.
But what’s the real difference between the two?
Conventional IVF uses a series of ovarian-stimulation drugs to induce an artificial menopause. This in turn, looks to produce 8 eggs from the ovary that can be fertilised in the lab. In the case of several embryos developing, two eggs can be introduced to the womb straight away.
Natural Cycle IVF is carried out using specialist scanning equipment to monitor a woman’s natural cycle. Once an egg is released, it can be collected and fertilised in a laboratory in the conventional way. Again, if an embryo develops, it is introduced to the womb.
How does this affect the patient?
The effects of conventional IVF and ovarian drugs can have a nauseating and sickly effect on many patients as they bodies react to the drugs. Also, if the first attempt is not successful, the woman’s body must take 2-3 months to recover before it undergoes a second attempt.
Due to the lack, or minimal use of drugs in Natural IVF, the patient often experiences none to almost no after effects. What’s more, due to the natural procedures used to collect an egg, if the first attempt fails, the patient can try again the following month at no risk to themselves.
So how does this affect the success rate?
Per cycle, the success rate of natural IVF is around half that seen in conventional IVF. This is figure that is continuing to rise however and due to the less invasive and disruptive nature of its procedures, as oppose to conventional IVF, a women can fit 2-3 more attempts in the same space of time if needed. Consequently, the two procedures scaled across offer pretty similar success rates.
But what Natural IVF highlights is a safer, less invasive procedure that takes into account the well-being of the patient and inevitably her unborn child, without affecting the chances of conception. It appears the quality of the egg really does hold all the cards and if scientists continue to develop more natural ways of collecting more fertile eggs, then questions really can begin to be asked.
Phil Warrington writes on the big debate concerning IVF treatment, the conventional, drug-induced method or natural forms of egg collection, with thanks to Create Health Clinic; specialists in providing a range of Natural and Mild –Stimulation IVF treatments as well as female and male fertility testing treatments.
Disclosure: This is a guest post from Create Health Clinic