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Natural Cycle IVF and Natural Cycle FET
Some fertility patients who are poor responders to traditional in vitro fertilization (IVF) protocols or those who want to avoid the side effects of fertility drugs opt for a natural cycle IVF. Natural cycle IVF is typically recommended for women under 35 who have a healthy supply of eggs in their ovaries, or women over the age of 35 who have not been successful with other IVF protocols.
Natural cycle IVF involves the retrieval of just one egg and the fertility patient determines when that egg is ready for retrieval by using ovulation prediction kits (OPKs) at home. In some cases, a small dose of hCG will be used to prepare the egg for retrieval if it is not maturing enough on its own, and an anti-inflammatory drug may be used to prevent the follicle from ovulating the egg prematurely. The egg is then fertilized similar to a traditional IVF cycle and transferred several days later or frozen for a future cycle.
In natural cycle Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET), the fertility patient also monitors the progression of her cycle using OPKs. Once she has ovulated, she will return to the fertility clinic to have her frozen embryo thawed and transferred back into the uterus. Doing so at this time ensures that the body’s naturally occurring hormones match up with the timing of the transfer to create the optimal environment for embryo implantation to occur.