You are here
Natural Cycle IVF Patient Story
Hello Everyone - Dr. DiMattina here. Yesterday, I referred a patient back to her OB/GYN for obstetrical care after one treatment using using her own egg and Natural Cycle IVF (NCIVF). Her previous infertility clinic had told her there was no hope of her having a baby with her own eggs. Really?
This 39-year-old patient had no children after trying for 3 years. Her infertility doctor diagnosed her as having decreased ovarian reserve (AMH < 0.1) and her husband with severe male factor infertility. He had a very low sperm count of 1.9 M/ml (Nl = 15-200 M/ml). Her doctor performed two treatments of stimulated IVF retrieving one egg in her first cycle and five eggs in her second but no pregnancy occurred after her two embryo transfers. She was then told to use egg donor IVF or adopt. Because her menstrual cycles were regular, I recommended trying natural cycle IVF (NCIVF).
Last month, in her normal menstrual cycle, I aspirated her egg. No ovarian stimulation drugs were used. Five days later, I transferred back into her uterus a healthy blastocyst embryo and yesterday, a pelvic sonogram demonstrated a 6 1/2 week pregnancy. One treatment with one embryo and now she is referred back to her obstetrician. Needless to say, the patient was shocked but elated by the good news.
Next month, we are expecting our full length paper to be published showing our NCIVF data for 2007-2011. The data demonstrates that the pregnancy rates for NCIVF are independent of one's ovarian reserve. In other words, the pregnancy rates are the same for all patients regardless of whether they have good or poor ovarian reserve. Patients whose AMH levels were <0.5 had the same pregnancy rates as those whose AMH levels were normal (> 1.8). Age was the only factor that mattered when analyzing pregnancy rates but the age related decline in IVF was less for NCIVF compared with stimuated IVF. About 3 years ago, a 48 year old patient of mine with a FSH level of 20 and a low AMH level delivered a healthy baby using her own egg and NCIVF. She had previously failed four treatments of stimulated IVF at another clinic when she was 42-43 years old. She too was told that her only option to have a baby was egg donor IVF. Obviously, she was very fortunate at age 48 to deliver her own biological child but many of our patients less than 44 years old have achieved success when they were told elsewhere that their only option was egg donor IVF.
After 30 years of practicing reproductive medicine, I can easily say that one size does not fit all. Infertility care must be individualized in order to optimize one's chances for pregnancy. Fortunately today, there are many excellent treatments available to achieve our goals. We are greatly pleased by this patient's success.
p.s. Oh, by the way, the egg that we retrieved on this patient was an immature egg but our lab was able to successfully mature the egg in vitro in order to properly fertilize it. Kudos to the lab!