Natural cycle in vitro fertilization with ICSI utilizes in vitro fertilization without any fertility drugs. Natural cycle IVF with ICSI uses the body’s natural ovulation process, without the help of follicle-stimulating hormones to boost egg production and induce ovulation. Natural cycle IVF simply follows a woman’s menstrual cycle, which is monitored with a monthly ultrasound. Before the egg is matured, it is extracted with a catheter and combined with the sperm to allow fertilization to occur. Once fertilization occurs, the resulting embryo is implanted into the womb.
In natural cycle IVF only one embryo is transferred to the womb, as opposed to regular IVF in which multiple embryos are transferred at once. As with traditional in vitro fertilization, natural cycle IVF is often done in conjunction with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a method in which a single sperm is injected into the center of the cytoplasm of the egg to increase the chances of fertilization. In ICSI, only one egg and one sperm is needed to produce one embryo.
Advantages of Natural Cycle IVF
-No fertility drugs are used are used for ovarian stimulation, reducing the risk of side effects such as OHSS
-Natural Cycle IVF treatment can be repeated in consecutive months. Women who have an unsuccessful traditional IVF -treatment must wait three months before attempting a second cycle
-Natural cycle IVF is less expensive as couples do not pay for fertility drugs
Disadvantages of Natural Cycle IVF
-Only one egg is fertilized reducing the chance of successful fertilization
-Success rates are lower than fertility drug stimulated IVF treatment