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Three Alternatives to Conventional IVF Treatment
In vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment continues to evolve as a way to help couples with fertility issues. As technology and medical techniques improve, new, more holistic IVF protocols are being developed to treat infertility. The top alternatives to IVF include three holistic approaches, natural cycle IVF, minimal stimulation IVF, and ultra-mini IVF.
Natural Cycle IVF
A natural IVF does not use medication to stimulate a woman’s body. Instead of supplementing a woman’s natural reproduction, the natural cycle monitors and retrieves the egg she produces naturally without any medical assistance. The lack of fertility medication makes this protocol more comfortable as there are no side effects. Additionally, fresh embryo transfers can be done as the uterine lining is undisturbed by medication. Natural cycles are ideal for women who wish to avoid medication or who are poor responders.
Minimal Stimulation (Mini) IVF
Mini IVF protocols use small doses of medication to gently stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. As opposed to a conventional approach that is focused on quantity, the goal of a minimal stimulation protocol is to produce a small number of high quality eggs. To accomplish this oral medication is prescribed. In addition to this, between one and three injectable medications are given. This is substantially less than the 20 to 60 injections required with conventional IVF. Typically, between two and five eggs are retrieved that are of high quality and suitable for fertilization.
Ultra Mini IVF
The ultra mini IVF protocol takes the minimal stimulation approach one step further. With the ultra mini protocol, there are no injectable fertility medications used. The stimulation needed to produce multiple eggs is done solely through the use of oral medication. This further reduces the side effects experienced during the cycle and eliminates the pain and discomfort associated with injections.