What is Natural/Natural Modified IVF?

Natural Cycle IVF involves egg collection aligned with your natural menstrual cycle; there are no stimulation drugs or injections involved. It works in sync with your menstrual cycle to collect the egg naturally selected by your body. 

Natural Cycle IVF is suitable for every woman who is still ovulating and wants to avoid stimulation IVF drugs or injections.

We also offer Natural Modified IVF, this is a form of Natural IVF where the treatment is carried out within your natural menstrual cycle but is modified by introducing additional medication aimed at blocking your spontaneous ovulation and supporting the growth of the naturally selected follicle.

Natural Modified IVF has an improved success rate, compared with pure Natural IVF, while retaining many of the benefits. We are especially proud of our success rates for women with low egg reserve and those in older age groups.

Who is it for?

All women can be helped with IVF treatment in a natural or natural modified cycle, but especially:

  • Women with low ovarian or egg reserve
  • Women who have had a poor response to conventional high-stimulation IVF (e.g. produced fewer than three eggs)
  • Women who've had previous failure of implantation with conventional high-stimulation IVF or want to avoid the risks and side effects of high stimulation IVF
  • Women with low Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) or high Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
  • Women who are older but wish to try with their own eggs, rather than with donor eggs
  • Women who suffer from severe endometriosis
  • Women who have a history of hormone-dependent cancers

What are the benefits of Natural/ Natural Modified IVF?

Lower doses of fertility drugs with no injections and shorter treatment times

The conventional high-stimulation IVF approach generally uses drugs to shut the menstrual cycle down (‘downregulation’) before restarting it again, and generally uses high doses of stimulation drugs to develop lots of follicles. Natural Cycle IVF does not shut the cycle down but works with it, and the process is focused on collecting the one follicle naturally selected by the body. In Natural Cycle IVF, no stimulating drugs are used.

In conventional high-stimulation IVF drugs are given in the form of daily injections for up to 21-28 days of daily injections before egg collection. With Pure Natural Cycle IVF there are no stimulation injections, shortening the overall treatment to around 4-6 days.

Reduced side effects and emotional burden

Studies have shown that higher doses of stimulation hormones can have a significant physical and emotional burden on patients. Many women considering fertility treatment have seen friends or family going through conventional high-stimulation IVF treatment struggle to cope with some of the side effects.

Potential side effects from the downregulation stage include:

  • Menopausal symptoms (such as hot flushes)
  • Strong mood swings (such as feeling down or irritable)
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Fatigue
  • Increased psychological and emotional burden

Increased risks from high stimulation stages:

  • Increased risk of Thromboembolism
  • Increased risk of developing Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
  • Weight gain
  • Risk of bloating and swelling
  • Potentially high psychological and physiological burden

Going through IVF treatment can be a highly emotive and stressful experience. For patients undergoing treatment, it can be physically and emotionally demanding. For partners, it can be difficult to watch a loved one go through a stressful experience. It is important to prioritise your psychological health, and this is also good for the health of your body. Our short, lower-drug protocols can help to minimise the stress you experience throughout the process.

Reduced risk of OHSS

Another known health risk of higher doses of stimulation hormones in women with a high egg reserve through conventional high-stimulation IVF is a potentially dangerous condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS), with symptoms that can include:

  • Rapid weight gain
  • Persistent nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tight or enlarged abdomen
  • Bloating

Mild OHSS can occur in up to 30% of women going through conventional high-stimulation IVF, but the severe form is rare. In contrast, Natural Cycle IVF works with your natural menstrual cycle, with no risk of OHSS.

If you are at high risk of developing an oestrogen-related cancer because of family history, or have endometriosis or other medical conditions (such as melanomas or clotting problems) that could be affected by ovarian stimulation drugs, Natural Cycle IVF may be beneficial to protect your health.

Improved quality eggs

Eggs that are naturally selected by the body can be of higher quality than those produced in a stimulated IVF cycle. Naturally selected eggs can potentially have fewer abnormalities, while embryos created in conventional IVF can have an increased proportion of chromosomal abnormalities.

Reduced long-term health complications for babies

A 2017 study found that there is a reduced risk of babies born through Natural Cycle IVF having a low birth weight and prematurity.

Better for implantation

Research has shown that high levels of stimulation can adversely impact embryo implantation. By avoiding stimulating drugs, the womb is more receptive as there is a healthier womb lining, and therefore more chance of the embryo successfully implanting, leading to a healthy pregnancy.

Your IVF treatment journey

Step 1:

What's the difference between conventional high stimulation IVF & Natural IVF?

In conventional high-stimulation IVF, drugs are given in the form of daily injections for up to 28 days. This is to shut down the natural menstrual cycle with in order to initiate a temporary ‘menopause’ like situation (also referred to as downregulation or suppression). Following this, additional injections containing higher doses of stimulation hormones are given to stimulate your ovaries to produce a higher number of eggs. In Natural Cycle IVF, the single egg that has been naturally selected and matured by your body is collected. What happens next depends on your treatment, but either the egg is fertilised and either implanted in your womb lining or can be frozen for future use. The choice around this will be made with by you and your consultant at the time and with depend on your individual situation.

The diagram below is showing the potential difference in injection times, medication dosage and treatment duration between Natural and conventional high stimulation IVF.

Natural IVF and Conventional IVF overview

  Natural IVF Conventional IVF
Patient suitability • Older patients
• Lower ovarian reserve
• Want to reduce risks & side-effects
• Want less medication
Good ovarian reserve (under 35 years old)
Injection time None - 4 days 21-28 days
Medication dosage None - Low Medium - High
Treatment duration Up to 2 weeks Up to 4 weeks
Cycle control Works with a woman's natural menstrual cycle Shuts down natural menstrual cycle (downregulation)
Time between cycles No break needed 2-3 months break due to stimulation
Focus of treatment Quality of eggs & embryos Quantity of eggs & embryos
For women    
Reduced injections
Shorter treatment time
Greatly reduced side-effects
Reduced stress/emotional impact
Reduced risk of OHSS
Potentially for babies    
Reduced risk of low birth weights
Reduced risk of prematurity
Reduced risk of long-term health implications

Natural IVF costs from €3,200

Our IVF Package includes:

  • Clinical advice
  • Monitoring scans (in Copenhagen)
  • Egg collection
  • Embryology
  • Embryo transfer

The cost of Natural/Natural Modified IVF will depend on your individual circumstances and your personalised treatment plan will be explained to you in more detail at your virtual consultation.

Part of CREATE Fertility

Vitanova is part of the CREATE Fertility family, who are leaders in Mild and Natural IVF. Our team is led by Professor Geeta Nargund, a world renowned expert in Mild approaches in assisted reproduction.

Here at Vitanova in Copenhagen, we have implemented the same treatment protocols to deliver safe, affordable and successful Mild & Natural IVF to our patients from across Europe.

Your fertility journey will be personalised specifically to your circumstances, focusing on quality rather than quantity of eggs and embryos.

What our patients say