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Are There IVF Treatments Available That Don't Require Injections?

A blog by Dr. John Zhang, New Hope Fertility, March 8, 2016

In its infancy, in vitro fertilization treatment relied heavily upon fertility medication. Conventional IVF protocols used as many as 60 injections per cycle. As the field of fertility medicine evolved, new, more holistic approaches to IVF treatment were created. It is now possible to undergo IVF without injections.

Natural Cycle IVF
A natural IVF cycle does not use any fertility medication, taking a completely different approach to IVF care. Instead of stimulating the body with medication, the sole egg produced during a woman’s monthly cycle is harvested and fertilized. This holistic treatment method may be used for women who are able to ovulate without the assistance of medication.

In addition to the lack of injectable medications, there are a number of pros to a natural IVF cycle:

  • No need to wait between cycles
  • Fresh embryo transfers may be used
  • No discomfort from side effects of fertility medication
  • Provides an option for women who do not respond to fertility medication
  • A naturally produced egg is of the highest quality

Ultra Mini IVF
Mini, or minimal stimulation, IVF protocols use a small amount of fertility medication during an IVF cycle. The exact doses of medication are based on each woman’s specific medical needs. An Ultra Mini IVF protocol uses only oral fertility medication, typically administered via 1 to 2 pills per day. Ultra Mini IVF cycles are ideal for women who need the additional support of fertility medication. By only using a small amount of fertility medication, a woman is able to produce two to five high quality eggs. This differs dramatically from traditional IVF treatment where a large number of eggs are produced, but a number of them are not suited for fertilization.

Pros of an Ultra Mini IVF cycle include:

  • Receiving fertility support to stimulate egg maturation and ovulation
  • Significantly reduced likelihood of developing OHSS
  • Fewer side effects from fertility medication
  • Success rates that rival that of traditional IVF treatment protocols

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