Hi everyone. Dr D here with great news and an update.
A.N. was 47 years old when she came to see me last year at Dominion Fertility. She had no children and had failed 4 stimulated IVF procedures in 2009 at another local infertility center. Her day 3 FSH level was 20 mIU/ml and her AMH level <0.1 indicating poor ovarian reserve. Her doctors advised her to use either ova donor IVF or adopt.
We performed Natural Cycle IVF and she achieved pregnancy with her first embryo transfer using her own egg. Last month, at age 48, she successfully delivered her healthy baby at 37 weeks of gestation. Please refer to my previous post on Fertile Grounds dated February 14, 2011. The other 43- year old patient mentioned in that post has also successfully delivered recently at age 44 years old, again using her own egg after her first embryo transfer using Natural Cycle IVF. We now have several other patients in their early to mid 40’s who are either pregnant or delivered, all with very similar stories, i.e. poor ovarian reserve, failed multiple treatments with stimulated IVF and told to either adopt or use an egg donor.
Why Natural Cycle IVF worked for the above-mentioned patients when other treatments failed is unknown. Having now performed NCIVF for almost 5 years, I believe that the answer lies in the quality of the egg produced in the natural cycle may be superior to the eggs produced in a stimulated IVF cycle. With NCIVF, we usually find high quality ova in most patients and this appears to be true even for patients who have decreased ovarian reserve. With stimulated IVF, we use drugs to force the ovaries to produce eggs that ordinarily are not meant to grow.
Currently, we offer Natural Cycle IVF to any patient who has regular menstrual cycles, regardless of her age or status of her ovarian reserve. At age 47, A.N. is currently our oldest patient to date to achieve a successful pregnancy using NCIVF but hopefully, she will not be our last! After having performed IVF for the past 25 years, I find NCIVF to be a simple and refreshing treatment option for so many infertile patients. DrD