For most individuals experiencing infertility, taking medications is almost inevitable, but recent research in in vitro fertilization (IVF) as well as more natural product developments are heading down the green path.
A recent study performed at RMANJ focused on IVF and women’s natural cycles. Patients went through their cycle without taking any medications to influence or increase follicle (egg) development. The egg(s) were retrieved just prior to ovulation and then fertilized and cultured the same as all other IVF cycles.
This study also differed from typical IVF in that patients were not under general anesthesia during egg retrieval and only a local anesthetic was used at the area where the aspiration needle passed through the vaginal wall to collect the eggs from the ovaries.
Although this cycle allowed patients to go through IVF without medication or anesthesia, a drawback is that only one to two eggs are typically retrieved, therefore reducing the number of embryos resulting from the cycle.
Some patients wishing to only do intrauterine inseminations (IUI) to assist in reproduction may be able to go through their cycle without taking medications to influence or increase follicle development and ovulation. These patients must always have male partners or donor semen samples (therapeutic donor insemination or TDI) with normal semen analysis or high sperm counts.
Some pharmaceutical companies are also offering organic options, such as prenatal vitamins, for those patients who wish to consume only organic foods and also those who have vegan diets. These may be available over the counter or as a prescription through your infertility center or OB/GYN office.