* Author Topic: Pros & Cons of Natural (unmedicated) Frozen Embryo Transfer  (Read 1083 times)

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Offline Nicnik

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Hi ladies,

Hoping some of you who have done a natural (unmedicated) FET might be able to advise....

I'm 44, been trying for 7-8 years (no natural pregnancy) and we've had 8 OE IVF cycles over the last 5 years with 3 different clinics.  One of those (the third fresh cycle with NHS) did result in a positive however, unfortunately ended in a missed miscarriage at 10 weeks.  Anyway, fast forward to now and we have now moved on to DE / OS cycle and have 6 lovely embryos on ice waiting for us.     In previous OE IVF cycles (fresh & frozen), my lining thickens up okay, usually between 8-9 mm on day of transfer, but I don't seem to get a triple layer that many clinics like to see and that many say is more important than thickness.  So, a couple of months ago, I decided to monitor (via TV scan) my natural cycle to see what my lining was like - the thickness was good and there was also visible signs of triple layer, hence my current clinic in Greece agree that we should try a Natural FET (no medications at all).  This makes me very nervous, since I've never done this before and also I don't want to 'waste' my excellent DE/OS embryos....but as natural cycle is something we've not tried before, I guess we should give it a go.

Just wondered if anyone had had success with a natural unmedicated FET??  Did you take any medications at all i.e. progesterone support after transfer etc?  Are there any pros / cons, I should be aware of?   

Any thoughts would be very welcome  (planning on doing FET on my next period in 3-4 weeks).

Thanks xx

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    Offline Mrsbluesky

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    Hi
    I have had success on a non medicated frozen transfer.
    It was classed as non medicated although I was medication for other reasons. Basically I followed my natural cycle. As soon as I got a positive LH surge they booked me in for transfer 6 days later. I was put on pessaries but this is normal for every transfer.
    The medication I was on was for high NK cells so I had blood thinners and steroids. I believe that it was this medication that worked for me. I had previously had 4 failed transfers both medicated and non medicated. I am currently 14 weeks pregnant ! Good luck with your transfer x


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    Offline Miss Sunshine22

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    • Finally a BFP - 7th time lucky!
    I had a natural FET for one of my OE cycles - although I didn't get a BFP (probably due to crappy old eggs), it was the easiest cycle as there were no meds and no horrible side effects. The main benefit, I think, would be that if you got a BFP, you wouldn't have to keep taking meds for 12 weeks as your own body would provide the hormones. The main disadvantage is that transfer is not guaranteed, as you may not ovulate but then transfer is not guaranteed on the meds as some people don't always respond to them. As far as I'm aware, research doesn't show any significant difference in success rates if you have regular and predictable cycles.

    We are considering going for treatment again as we have frozen embryos from our last DE cycle, but given how horribly the meds effect me I am only going to consider a transfer again if (amongst other things) we get the go ahead to do a natural FET.

    Offline hannahdaisy

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    Hi Nicnak,

    I'm currently 8 weeks pregnant from a natural FET. The only thing that I've had to take are progesterone pessaries and I had to start them a few days before transfer. My clinic also liked you to do a trigger just to guarantee exactly when ovulation takes place, but they tracked the lead follicle for the whole cycle and waited until it was the correct size.

    I would just say to try not to worry about 'wasting' any embryos. They will only thaw them if they believe that your lining is ready. I'm sure they wouldn't want to transfer if they didn't think that your body was ready.

    Hope all goes well :)

    Offline katkat2014

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    Hi nicnik,
    I am in a similar position to you, 43 , lots of failed OE cycles, but am on my last frozen OE embryo now (one early miscarriage/chemical). Before probably moving on to DE. I wanted to do a medicated FET but my lining never made it over 6.8mm. I have done 4 failed natural FEt but with trigger shot (2 of them with not so good eggs) and bfn. I always thought it was just so easy to do, with the trigger. Whilst my lining is still just about 6.5 mm before the trigger, it is about 8 mm after trigger and ovulation.
    Now this morning I have read this here https://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(09)04116-8/pdf and was getting really unsure about taking the trigger or not as this study seems to favour totally natural FET. But I have also read other reports where it says natural with trigger is superior to medicated. I don't know if you can conclude from this that natural is also better than modified natural or medicated though. Anyway... I was wanting to do an FET this month with trigger however I have literally come from my scan today and have a 21mm follicle with a 7 mm lining today, Day 15. I had low positive on OPK and zero EWCM so I really thought I was way off of ovulation still. I have just taken an LH and progesterone blood test with results due late (happy to let you know or post if of interest). So I can't tell you if this is better but I can let you know what happens the next few days whilst I go along.

    On this note, does anyone have experience what happens next. How do I know when I have ovulated. Should I do another blood LH and progesterone test tomorrow? And a scan but when? Do I need estrogen too? My clinic is in the Czech republic and nobody to reply once I get the LH results later on.

    Offline SuperMaria

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    with natural frozen embryo transfer, are you referring to Natural IVF cycle? Sorry but I'm a newbie  :)

    Offline Londonwriter

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    I have a lovely little DS from an unmedicated FET.

    I responded badly to synthetic oestrogen and we didn't think I needed a medicated FET because I don't have gynae problems. Advantages are that you don't need to take synthetic hormones for the transfer and for the next 12 weeks, although I did take supplemental progesterone (this seems pretty standard for all IVF). The disadvantage is that you have to do a *lot* of monitoring to detect when you ovulate (I was scanned every 1 to 2 days at the clinic).

    I personally would choose an unmedicated FET again, but I've also had a surprise natural pregnancy that went to term - so, I'm confident that my problems aren't with my hormones, embryos or lining.

    Clinics seem to default to medicated FET because it's easier for them to schedule around. So, if it's not working for you, I'd definitely give one a go!

    Offline TrionaT

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    Hi Nicnik,

    I did have a natural unmedicated cycle which resulted in my twin boys. I had a trigger shot to ensure when I ovulated with lots of scans.

    PROS : No nasty hormones to take ( apart from some progesterone , but a lot less than with medicated )
    Costs a lot less with less hormones to buy.
    Feels more natural

    CONS: Difficult to schedule a trip abroad for IVF , they would need scans done frequently ( which are expensive? ) ... and stress can affect your hormones and you can't control what happens as much as you can with a medicated cycle. For example increasing your oestrogen to get a thicker lining ...

    Personally I would try a natural cycle. You could try eating healthy foods which would help your lining .. spirulina etc
    On my cycle my lining was very thin, they didn't think it would go ahead but it grew 3 mm overnight from 6 to 9 the natural way so it was fine in the end...

    Oh and I did some research as I wanted a natural cycle this time but couldn't due to travelling abroad.. there is a 10% less chance of miscarriage with Natural cycle. I can't quote the study I read that from but it was a sizeable clinical trial.

    Good luck with whatever you decidexxx

    Offline katkat2014

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    Supermaria natural frozen embryo transfer means to transfer you frozen embryo into a cycle where you take no or little hormones and just after your normal ovulation.

    Just to update on my story from last year as per above. I got pregnant on that cycle and have a 6-month old daughter. It was my first transfer into a natural lining /cycle without trigger shot and it was my 14th ( I think as I lost count) embryo transfer with my own eggs.