Both natural and mild IVF are different from conventional IVF treatment in their approach. While natural and mild IVF treatments are focused on improving fertility alongside the natural menstrual cycle, conventional IVF utilizes medications to halt the natural menstrual cycle and initiate fertilization. Even though the decision to pursue fertility treatment involves personal, medical, and financial considerations, it is wise to know about the available options. In this article, we will explore what natural and mild IVF are, their pros and cons, and who can benefit from these treatments.
Natural IVF is a fertility treatment that collects eggs aligned with a woman’s natural menstrual cycle without the use of stimulating medications. This means only one follicle will develop and produce a mature egg per menstrual cycle. Patients are monitored with bloodwork and ultrasounds to track the development of the egg to avoid its release before it can be retrieved.
It is then retrieved, harvested, and fertilized in the lab, similar to the conventional IVF method. If the embryo developed is viable, it will be transferred back into the woman’s uterus. Natural IVF is often addressed as medication-free IVF, but the woman may need daily injections to prevent early ovulation and small amounts of gonadotropin to support the egg’s growth.
Mild IVF, or mild stimulation IVF, is similar to natural IVF as it works alongside the woman’s natural menstrual cycle. However, it is different from natural IVF treatment as patients are given stimulating drugs to produce at least 2 to 10 eggs. The dosage of these medications is lower and shorter than that of standard IVF. Women who undergo mild IVF will first complete a 5- to 9-day course of mild stimulation drugs. The rest of the procedures are the same for both natural and mild IVF.
- Mild IVF can benefit women who do not respond to injections or have low ovarian reserves.
- It is suitable for women with other medical conditions where the risk of OHSS needs to be minimized.
- It is an ideal choice for patients who have concerns about the high doses of medication needed for conventional IVF.
- Mild IVF is suitable for individuals who are in a relationship with only male factor infertility.
- This can also benefit women with PCOS who are at higher risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation.
Mild and natural IVF provide paramount importance for women’s health; hence, they use fewer drugs and have fewer side effects. On the contrary, conventional IVF exposes patients to a higher risk of developing medical conditions like ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and various other complications. Additionally, natural and mild IVF work along the woman’s natural menstrual cycle, unlike traditional IVF, which stops it before restarting the cycle.
In the natural IVF cycle, no drugs or injections are used to stimulate the growth of follicles in the ovaries, and therefore, only one follicle will develop and provide a mature egg. However, in mild IVF, a low dose of drugs is given to the patients to stimulate several follicles, producing at least 2 to 10 eggs in a cycle but not as many as with the conventional IVF cycle. Whether you need mild IVF, natural IVF, or conventional IVF is solely based on your individual circumstances. Your doctor will determine which is best for you after a deliberate examination of your reproductive and overall health.