Why women are choosing Natural and Mild IVF treatments
Women want a gentler treatment with fewer physical and emotional burdens
“I don’t want to feel my body is out of control. I’m not sure how I could cope with mood swings or daily injections!”
In conventional IVF drugs are given in the form of daily injections (or occasionally in the form of nasal sprays) for up to two weeks. This is to shut down your natural menstrual cycle with an aim to achieve a temporary menopause (also referred to as down regulation or suppression). Following this, additional injections containing higher doses of stimulation hormones are given to stimulate your ovaries to mature a higher number of eggs. Studies have shown that higher doses of stimulation hormones can have significant physical and emotional side effects. Many women considering fertility treatment have seen friends or family going through conventional IVF treatment struggle to cope with side effects that can include:
- Menopausal symptoms (for example, hot flushes)
- Strong mood swings
Another known health risk of higher doses of stimulation hormone in women with a high egg reserve with conventional IVF is a potentially dangerous condition called Ovarian Hyper stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) with symptoms that can include:
- Rapid weight gain
- Persistent Nausea
- Shortness of breath
- Tight or enlarged abdomen
Mild OHSS can occur in up to 30% of women having conventional IVF but severe form is rare. In contrast, Natural, Natural Modified and Mild IVF work with your natural menstrual cycle.
We focus on a higher quality not quantity of eggs
In Mild IVF there is no down-regulation or ovarian suppression leading to temporary menopause. The stimulation hormone given to mature eggs is aimed at a milder response from your ovaries. This generally means that you will receive lower doses of drugs for a shorter time within your natural cycle. The side effects are significantly reduced compared to conventional IVF treatment.
In Natural and Natural Modifie IVF the aim is to collect naturally selected egg/s from your ovaries. This means there is no stimulation hormone involved, or in some cases, medication is given for 3-4 days to block your spontaneous ovulation and to keep your follicle/s healthy so that egg/s can be collected without the risk of ovulation. Treatment cycles are aimed at collecting naturally selected eggs.
Women are worried about the possibility of health issues linked to fertility drugs
“I’ve heard there could be long-term health issues linked to the use of higher doses of fertility drugs. I want treatment I know for sure will be safe for me and my baby.”
Although protocols for conventional IVF are well established and safe, more research is needed to study the long-term risks for women and babies. Babies born following fresh embryo transfer from conventional IVF treatment (where a high number of eggs are collected in the presence of high hormone levels in the blood), are known to be at an increased risk of:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
In terms of women undergoing treatment, those who have a family history of oestrogen related cancer (such as breast or ovarian cancer) or other conditions including endometriosis often seek out Natural/Mild IVF to avoid the use of higher doses of stimulating drugs which could potentially pose risks to their health. Other potential risks of a high response from the ovaries in conventional IVF treatment can include:
- Thromboembolism (blood clots)
- Adverse uterine conditions for implantation
Women want fertility treatment, but they also need to know they will be able to carry on with daily life while they’re going through it.
No weight gain with Natural and Natural Modified IVF
Women report to us that they experience weight gain while undergoing conventional IVF but that they don’t experience this with Natural and Natural modified IVF.
“Making a success of fertility treatment is so important to me – but I need to know I’m going to be able to keep on top of everything else while it’s going on – at work and at home. I don’t think I could cope with giving myself injections every day for weeks.”
In Natural and Mild IVF, treatment duration is shorter with far fewer injections, so it’s less likely to impact on your daily routine.
While in conventional IVF you are likely to have to inject yourself daily for around 4 weeks, in Natural IVF there’s no medication at all. In Natural Modified IVF you are prescribed pills or injections for just 3 to 4 days in the middle of your cycle, and Mild IVF treatment is based on 5 to 9 days of injections, designed to produce a mild response. The aim of Natural Modified and Mild IVF cycles is to collect a higher quality, not quantity, of eggs.
Women are looking for high-quality medical care and access to advanced technology and the latest techniques
“I want more natural treatment - but that doesn’t mean I want lower quality of care or to miss out on any new advances that might help me get pregnant.”
The very first IVF baby Louise Brown was born using Natural IVF – but since then several advances have taken place to improve the success of Natural IVF. Mild IVF is a new treatment approach developed in the last decade aiming at collecting a higher quality of eggs while reducing side effects and risks. Natural and Mild treatment requires creating individual treatment plans personalised for each patient, and careful monitoring to achieve a successful outcome.
What we do is much closer to nature and natural selection. We use advanced ultrasound technology to individualise treatment pathways in order to achieve higher success. In fact, our partner CREATE’s founder Professor Geeta Nargund and her senior team have pioneered and advanced protocols and techniques that put the health of babies and women first by aiming to increase success rates while reducing reliance on high doses of drugs. For example, CREATE Fertility’s Director of Ultrasound Professor Campbell is the leading authority on obstetrics and gynaecological ultrasound scanning. He has developed the use of advanced ultrasound to give women a detailed and accurate insight into their fertility. At your initial scan at Vitanova, our specialists can assess your fertility potential using 3D & Doppler ultrasound scanning.
Women want IVF with industry standard success rates, without the usual side effects and risks
“I want a treatment that is kinder to my body, but I don’t want to compromise on success rates. It’s hard to make sense of how different clinics and treatments compare.”
Our Mild IVF treatment achieves success rates that are often equivalent to or better than the national average for IVF in many cases.
Our Natural IVF success rates are often better than the national average. Many women with a low egg reserve who have failed to have a baby with conventional IVF have taken babies home with their own eggs after having Natural IVF at our centres. Natural and Natural Modified IVF is of particular benefit to women with a low egg reserve.
When looking at success rates, it’s important to check that the clinic can say that the figures are verified by the HFEA (ours are). If you are comparing one clinic to another it’s also vital to make sure you are comparing like with like – for example, does the clinic publish statistics that relate to success per cycle, per patient, per embryo transfer or even embryo transferred? Is the clinic clear about who they’re treating – including the age range of their patients, and whether they treat those with a low egg reserve? Many women are reassured to know that most clinics are broadly as successful as each other – and the HFEA advises that differences in success rates are likely to relate to the types of patients they treat. We are proud to say that many of our results are as good as the national average while being kinder to women’s bodies and safer for both the women we treat and their babies. We are proud to achieve better outcomes for mother and baby with our treatments.
If you’d like to learn more about Vitanova and the treatments we offer please call us.