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Low Cost No Stim IVF/M
In a standard IVF cycle, a woman’s ovaries are stimulated with fertility drugs to produce multiple follicles. Mature eggs are retrieved, fertilized in the lab and a resulting embryo or embryos are transferred back to the uterus. Not only are there IVF protocols using different fertility drugs and additional procedures (ICSI, PGS) there are variations on standard IVF:
- Natural Cycle IVF. Unlike conventional IVF, no fertility drugs are used, and one egg that is naturally produced is retrieved. Like conventional IVF, the egg is fertilized in the lab and an embryo is transferred back into the uterus.
- IVM (In Vitro Maturation) . Instead of retrieving mature eggs, immature eggs are retrieved, matured in the lab, and then fertilized and implanted as in a standard IVF cycle.
- Natural Cycle IVF/M. There is no use of fertility drugs. One mature and several immature eggs are retrieved, they are matured in the lab, and then fertilized and implanted as in a standard IVF cycle.
According to Dr. Jesse Hade, Medical Director of Neway Fertility in New York City, IVF/M is superior to other IVF treatments. It is a drug-free, minimally invasive and lower-cost option. Women with PCOS, women who are at risk for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and women with estrogen sensitive diseases such as breast cancer are particularly good candidates for IVF/M, he adds.
By getting one dominant follicle (the egg that matures naturally) and several of the immature eggs (cohort), you truncate the course of medical therapy to 2 to 3 days, Hade says. "Conventional wisdom says that in a natural cycle, the dominant follicle holds best and healthiest egg. That’s not true. Eggs in the sub-follicle may be the best and healthiest, and we can get them out in the safest and best way."
Hade cites a 2011 study comparing the success rates of the treatments: 440 cycles of IVF/M, 210 cycles of IVM and 650 cycles of IVF. IVF/M and IVM each had a 40% pregnancy rate, while the IVF patients had a 32% pregnancy rate.
Neway Fertility is currently conducting a clinical trial for women with PCOS and infertility who require IVF. They are offering free IVM treatment to up to 20 women. Seven cycles have been performed to date; there have been five pregnancies and three baby girls born, twins and a singleton.