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If Your IVF Doctor Doesn’t Offer Natural Cycle IVF, Satellite IVF is Available.

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a blog by Dr. Michael DiMattina, Dominion Fertility, April 24, 2015

Hello Everyone, Dr. DiMattina here to discuss a problem for many infertility patients whose IVF doctor and clinic do not offer Natural Cycle IVF (NCIVF).

NCIVF is offered in over 50 countries around the world and indeed the world’s first IVF baby was conceived using NCIVF in 1978 in England. In those days, the IVF pregnancy rates were less than 10% even in the best of hands. Now, after more than 30 years of research and advances in technology and our far better knowledge of the reproductive system, most patients who seek infertility care are ultimately successful. Modern IVF literature shows similar or superior embryo implantation rates for NCIVF compared with stimulated IVF. For patients 35 years old and older, or patients with poor ovarian reserve, the embryo implantation rates for NCIVF have been shown to be superior to stimulated IVF.

Satellite NCIVF is simply an arrangement that allows the patient to minimize her time away from her home and family, yet allow her the ability to undergo NCIVF. We usually begin with a simple telephone consultation obtaining her medical history including any previous infertility tests or treatments that have occurred. Subsequently, the patient may need to travel to the fertility clinic performing NCIVF for a consultation and a sonogram, mock embryo transfer and a sonoHSG. Sometimes her local IVF center can perform these tests for her.

At this point, we can immediately begin her treatment using NCIVF. The patient’s ovarian monitoring and blood hormone tests (usually 3-5 visits) can be performed by her local IVF center and the results transmitted for disposition. Once her follicle is mature, the patient takes her hcg injection and travels to Dominion for her oocyte collection and 3 days later for her embryo transfer. This approach minimizes the time that the patient spends away from home.

I would like to profile two recent patients, one who lives in North Carolina and another who lives in Florida, who wished to be treated using NCIVF but their local IVF clinics did not offer NCIVF. The first is a 29 year old patient who suffered two ectopic pregnancies necessitating removal of both of her fallopian tubes. She could not afford stimulated IVF and she did not wish to use ovarian stimulation drugs. Her local IVF center was unwilling to perform NCIVF but they agreed to assist in her care and perform her ovarian monitoring. In November 2014, she came to Dominion Fertility for her mock embryo transfer and sonogram. She returned in March, 2015 to undergo her first NCIVF egg collection and three days later we transferred her single embryo. Her first obstetrical sonogram confirmed the presence of a viable intrauterine pregnancy.

The second patient lives in Florida. She is 44 years old and she had failed a total of three stimulated IVF procedures. Her doctor did not perform NCIVF and they recommended ova donor IVF or adoption as her only options. We had a telephone consultation in February 2015 and we decided that she could immediately undergo NCIVF. She had her first follicle aspiration in February but the follicle was empty but she wanted to immediately try again. Recently we retrieved her egg and transferred her embryo back into her uterus. Currently, we are awaiting the outcome of her treatment. All of her ovarian monitoring was performed in Florida, thereby greatly minimizing her time away from home. We are most hopeful that she is successful. Our oldest patient to date who has been successful using NCIVF delivered at 48 years old after her first embryo transfer.

For most patients, NCIVF can be easily arranged with minimal time away from home. You may wish to go to for additional up to date information regarding NCIVF. Best wishes to all!

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