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What is Natural IVF?

Natural Cycle IVF involves egg collection aligned with your natural menstrual cycle; there are no stimulation drugs or injections involved. It works in sync with your menstrual cycle to collect the egg naturally selected by your body. During treatment, our specialist doctors use advanced ultrasound technology to monitor your cycle and check the blood supply to the developing follicle to monitor its quality. 

Natural Cycle IVF is suitable for every woman who is still ovulating and wants to avoid stimulation IVF drugs or injections.

Natural IVF is a delicate and precise treatment that requires expertise and specialist consultants. For the best chance of success, the clinic must be completely committed to this type of approach - and CREATE Fertility are the only dedicated Natural and Mild IVF clinic in the UK.

Download your free guide to Natural IVF

Who is it for?

  • Women with low ovarian or egg reserve
  • Women who have had a poor response to conventional high-stimulation IVF (e.g. produced fewer than three eggs)
  • Women who've had previous failure of implantation with conventional high-stimulation IVF or want to avoid the risks and side effects of high stimulation IVF
  • Women with low Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) or high Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
  • Women who are older but wish to try with their own eggs, rather than with donor eggs
  • Women who suffer from severe endometriosis
  • Women who have a history of hormone-dependent cancers

 

 

What are the benefits of Natural IVF?

Lower doses of fertility drugs with no injections and shorter treatment times

The conventional high-stimulation IVF approach generally uses drugs to shut the menstrual cycle down (‘downregulation’) before restarting it again, and generally uses high doses of stimulation drugs to develop lots of follicles. Natural Cycle IVF does not shut the cycle down but works with it, and the process is focused on collecting the one follicle naturally selected by the body. In Natural Cycle IVF, no stimulating drugs are used.

In conventional high-stimulation IVF drugs are given in the form of daily injections for up to 21-28 days of daily injections before egg collection. With Pure Natural Cycle IVF there are no stimulation injections, shortening the overall treatment to around 4-6 days.

Natural Cycle IVF vs Conventional IVF

Reduced side effects and emotional burden

Studies have shown that higher doses of stimulation hormones can have a significant physical and emotional burden on patients. Many women considering fertility treatment have seen friends or family going through conventional high-stimulation IVF treatment struggle to cope with some of the side effects.

Potential side effects from the downregulation stage include:

  • Menopausal symptoms (such as hot flushes)
  • Strong mood swings (such as feeling down or irritable) 
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Increased psychological and emotional burden

Increased risks from high stimulation stages: 

  • Increased risk of Thromboembolism
  • Increased risk of developing Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
  • Weight gain
  • Risk of bloating and swelling 
  • Potentially high psychological and physiological burden

Going through IVF treatment can be a highly emotive and stressful experience. For patients undergoing treatment, it can be physically and emotionally demanding. For partners, it can be difficult to watch a loved one go through a stressful experience. It is important to prioritise your psychological health, and this is also good for the health of your body. Our short, lower-drug protocols can help to minimise the stress you experience throughout the process.

Reduced risk of OHSS

Another known health risk of higher doses of stimulation hormones in women with a high egg reserve through conventional high-stimulation IVF is a potentially dangerous condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), with symptoms that can include:

  • Rapid weight gain
  • Persistent nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tight or enlarged abdomen
  • Bloating

Mild OHSS can occur in up to 30% of women going through conventional high-stimulation IVF, but the severe form is rare. In contrast, Natural Cycle IVF works with your natural menstrual cycle, with no risk of OHSS.

If you are at high risk of developing an oestrogen-related cancer because of family history, or have endometriosis or other medical conditions (such as melanomas or clotting problems) that could be affected by ovarian stimulation drugs, Natural Cycle IVF may be beneficial to protect your health.

Improved quality eggs

Eggs that are naturally selected by the body can be of higher quality than those produced in a stimulated IVF cycle. Naturally selected eggs can potentially have fewer abnormalities, while embryos created in conventional IVF can have an increased proportion of chromosomal abnormalities.

Reduced long-term health complications for babies

A 2017 study found that there is a reduced risk of babies born through Natural Cycle IVF having a low birth weight and prematurity.

Better for implantation

Research has shown that high levels of stimulation can adversely impact embryo implantation.

By avoiding stimulating drugs, the womb is more receptive as there is a healthier womb lining, and therefore more chance of the embryo successfully implanting, leading to a healthy pregnancy.

 

Your IVF treatment journey at CREATE

Previous step
Step 1:
Step 2:
Step 3:
Step 4:
Step 5:
Step 6:
Next step
  • Virtual Consultation

    The first step in your journey will be a Virtual Consultation with one of our highly experienced Fertility Consultants, which you can do via video or phone, from your own home.

  • Treatment Consultation

    2 weeks before the start of your period you will come in to meet with a fertility nurse who will talk you through your treatment plan and go through the consent forms with you.

  • Scans & Blood tests

    You will have 2 or 3 monitoring scans usually spaced days apart; each takes 20 minutes. The doctor may perform blood tests at these appointments.

  • Egg collection

    This procedure is performed in the theatre under sedation and takes around 45 minutes.

  • Embryo Transfer

    The embryo transfer is a quick and easy procedure which does not need sedation and feels similar to a smear test

  • Pregnancy test

    We will invite you back to the clinic for a pregnancy blood test and give you the test results by the end of the day.

    Start your journey

Patient stories

The gentle and natural approach worked brilliantly for us!
 

What's the difference between conventional high stimulation IVF & Natural IVF?

In conventional high-stimulation IVF, drugs are given in the form of daily injections for up to 28 days. This is to shut down the natural menstrual cycle with in order to initiate  a temporary ‘menopause’ like situation (also referred to as downregulation or suppression). Following this, additional injections containing higher doses of stimulation hormones are given to stimulate your ovaries to produce a higher number of eggs. In Natural Cycle IVF, the single egg that has been naturally selected and matured by your body is collected. What happens next depends on your treatment, but either the egg is fertilised and either implanted in your womb lining or can be frozen for future use. The choice around this will be made with by you and your consultant at the time and with depend on your individual situation.

The diagram below is showing the potential difference in injection times, medication dosage and treatment duration between Natural and conventional high stimulation IVF.

Natural IVF and Conventional IVF overview

  Natural
IVF
Conventional
IVF
Patient suitability • Older patients
• Lower ovarian reserve
• Want to reduce risks & side-effects
• Want less medication
Good ovarian reserve (under 35 years old)
Injection time None -
4 days
21-28
days
Medication dosage None -
Low
Medium -
High
Treatment duration Up to
2 weeks
Up to
4 weeks
Cycle control Works with a woman's natural menstrual cycle Shuts down natural menstrual cycle (downregulation)
Time between cycles No break needed 2-3 months break due to stimulation
Focus of treatment Quality of eggs & embryos Quantity of eggs & embryos
For women    
Reduced injections
Shorter treatment time
Greatly reduced side-effects
Reduced stress/emotional impact
Reduced risk of OHSS
Potentially for babies    
Reduced risk of low birth weights
Reduced risk of prematurity
Reduced risk of long-term health implications

Natural Modified IVF

We also offer Natural Modified IVF, this is a form of Natural IVF where the treatment is carried out within your natural menstrual cycle but is modified by introducing additional medication aimed at blocking your spontaneous ovulation and supporting the growth of the naturally selected follicle. Natural Modified IVF has an improved success rate, compared with pure Natural IVF, while retaining many of the benefits. We are especially proud of our success rates for women with low egg reserve and those in older age groups.

Find out more

 

Natural IVF success rates

CREATE Fertility has the most experience and expertise in Natural Cycle IVF in the UK. We have pioneered new protocols and methods to advance this IVF treatment and to increase its success rates for all ages.

As these treatment are offered to women with low egg reserve the success rates can be lower per cycle but Cumulative success rate with 3 cycles of treatment can be significantly higher. This gives you the opportunity to try with your own eggs rather than having to use donor eggs.

Clinical pregnancies per embryo transferred | Natural Cycle IVF | Jan 18 - Dec 18 | CREATE Fertility St Paul's

 

Natural IVF costs from £2,550*

Our treatment package includes:

-Treatment consultation
-Monitoring scans
-Egg collection
-Embryology
-Embryo transfer
-Early pregnancy scan

The cost of Natural Cycle IVF will depend on your individual circumstances and your personalised treatment plan will be explained to you in more detail at your Initial Consultation.

We have various packages available to help patients with planning their treatment costs, if you wish to find out more about Natural Cycle IVF or our prices please give us a call.

Required additions: There are additional costs which cover medication, blood tests, sedation and HFEA fees that are not included in the price stated above. The ‘average’ total cost of a treatment cycle is £3,785 (this can vary based on individual patients requirements, an exact quote will be given at your consultation).

 

Your funding options

Cost is one of the biggest implications of private fertility treatment, we aim to make our treatments accessible for all so that's why we offer different funding options to help growing your family less stressful. To discuss funding options with one of our advisors contact us.

Payment plans available

  • 0% interest available over 12 months
  • Spread the cost of treatment with our affordable payment plans
  • 12 and 24 month plans available

3 cycle packages

  • 3 and 6 cycle packages
  • Better value for patients who require more than one cycle
  • Can offer better success rates in some patient circumstances

Working at the leading-edge of IVF:

we have the latest scientific knowledge and use the most advanced technologies

To see our published Medical research...

Read more

 

Natural IVF blog

Read the latest stories, advice and news from the CREATE Fertility blog.