Great news and hope!
Last July, I first met with A.N., a lovely 47 year old lady with a long history of infertility. At another infertility clinic in Washington, D.C., she had failed 4 separate stimulated IVF treatments from 2007 through 2009. In fact, her fourth stimulated IVF treatment was cancelled because of a poor response to her ovarian stimulation drugs.
Her evaluation with me here at Dominion Fertility revealed, not surprisingly, decreased ovarian reserve with a poor antral follicle count on sonography and a low AMH of 0.6 (normal > 1.8). We decided to try Natural Cycle IVF (NC-IVF) and in her first monitored cycle we retrieved her egg, but her embryo arrested and was not transferred. At Dominion Fertility, all of our embryo transfers are performed on day 5 after the egg retrieval. This ensures a better quality embryo with a lower incidence of biochemical pregnancies and spontaneous abortions.
In her second treatment using NC-IVF, she had a single embryo transfer resulting in a clinical pregnancy confirmed on sonography last week. Yeah for A.N.!!!
We believe that A.N. is the oldest patient in the United States to achieve a clinical pregnancy using NC-IVF and no ovarian stimulation drugs. While we are greatly excited for her success to date, she understands that at her age of 47 years, her pregnancy has a high risk of either a spontaneous abortion or a genetic anomaly such as Down’s Syndrome. We now must wait, hope and pray that her pregnancy continues to be a successful one.
Recently, a 43 year old patient of mine with a day 3 FSH level of 20 and an AMH level of <0.1 (in other words, severely diminished ovarian reserve), and who had bilateral 3 cm. ovarian endometriomas, called me to report that her pregnancy is doing well at 13 weeks of gestation following her single treatment of NC-IVF. With the odds greatly stacked against these 2 ladies, it’s truly remarkable that they were successful after each had only one embryo transfer using NC-IVF.
We are now beginning our 5th year of treating patients using NC-IVF, and we remain most enthusiastic about it, particularly in those patients who have almost no hope of having their own biological pregnancy. We have now seen many patients who have failed stimulated IVF or who were not even candidates for stimulated IVF because of severely diminished ovarian reserve, obtain a successful pregnancy using NC-IVF. Although stimulated IVF and Natural Cycle IVF may share the same denominator (both involving in vitro fertilization), I have learned and witnessed first hand that they are very different forms of IVF. One is not necessarily superior to the other, but I believe the processes are remarkably different in terms of egg and embryo quality, thus allowing some patients to obtain pregnancy that was not previously obtainable. Soon, we will be adding data to our www.naturalcycleivf.net website concerning our 4 years experience using NC-IVF and submitting our data for publication.
Congrats again to our successful patients. We certainly hope that their deliveries are successful too! -Dr. DiMattina