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Natural Awakenings Boston

Natural Cycle In Vitro Fertilization

Apr 29, 2014 12:05PM

For women struggling to conceive, traditional in vitro fertilization (IVF) methods can be both expensive and painful. In traditional IVF, women inject themselves with large doses of hormones, including gonadotropins and luteinizing hormone releasing factor agonists to stimulate egg production. Operative egg retrieval is then performed to remove the eggs and, if successful, the eggs are fertilized in a laboratory and finally transferred back into the uterus.

Not only can these hormones cost thousands of dollars, but they can also lead to adverse side effects ranging from irritability, headaches and restlessness to ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome, which can cause stomach pains, nausea and vomiting.

Dr. Gary Gross, of Visions HealthCare, in Dedham, says that there are natural alternatives to traditional IVF therapies. According to Gross, an expert in gynecological endocrinology and infertility, “In natural cycle IVF, rather than using hormones to stimulate the ovary to produce multiple eggs, patients can be monitored daily with blood tests and ultra sound exams to follow the development of a single follicle.” By following a woman’s natural cycle, the doctor can determine the day and time she is most likely to produce an egg and then retrieve that egg a few hours in advance of its natural release. Therefore, no hormones need to be used to stimulate follicle growth.

“The success rate of conception with natural cycle IVF is 75 percent for women in their 20s to mid-30s who are still able to ovulate, but have infertility issues stemming from blockage of their tubes either from previous tubular pregnancies, infections, endometriosis or from having their tubes tied,” says Gross.

Most insurance companies cover both traditional and natural cycle IVF, therefore, it’s important to explore all options before deciding what’s best for your body.

Location: Visions HealthCare, 910 Washington St., Dedham, and 100 Second Ave., Needham. For more information, call 781-431-1333 or visit

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