Alternative to IVF Treatments | HART Fertility Clinic

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We offer alternatives to women who aren’t keen on fertility drugs, whether for personal or medical reasons

Alternative methods and substitutes for IVF

These include the following:

Natural Cycle IVF: This procedure sees us cultivate a woman’s natural egg follicle without the aid of fertility drugs. The naturally matured egg is then harvested in surgery, and fertlised in our laboratory. Once a quality embryo has developed, it is transferred into the woman’s uterus for implantation..

Minimal Stimulation IVF: This method uses less medication and less aggressive ovarian stimulation, mimicking a natural cycle. It is also a cheaper alternative to standard IVF.

Natural Cycle IVF:

Unlike in standard IVF, where we use fertility hormones to achieve controlled ovarian hyperstimulation and superovulation, in natural IVF no medication to stimulate the ovaries is used. We monitor the natural cycle, the egg is produced naturally, and the only medication used is a “trigger” injection before egg collection.

The absence of fertility drugs makes this method more comfortable, and there are no side-effects. These natural cycles are ideal for women who wish to avoid medication, but who are poor responders. In terms of success rates, this depends on the quality of the single egg produced by the ovary during the IVF cycle. If that single egg is retrieved but cannot be fertilised, the cycle is halted and you have to start again the following month.

IVF and Acupuncture:

Although opinions vary on the efficacy of acupuncture in aiding successful IVF, there are studies that indicate there are benefits, and that many patients find it gives them additional confidence and peace of mind. If you choose this option, we will put you in touch with our clinic’s acupuncturist.

Minimal Stimulation IVF:

In this method, we use small doses of medication to gently stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. While the conventional approach focuses on quantity of eggs, the goal of minimal stimulation IVF is to instead produce a small number of quality eggs. Medication is taken orally, and you can expect only between one and three injections, rather than the standard 10 to 20. Typically, we retrieve two to five eggs suitable for fertilisation, but your age is a factor. With the lower number of eggs, the results are entirely dependent on the quality of those eggs. This is a good choice for women who have tried conventional IVF, but did not produce enough good quality eggs, or for those not interested in a large number of eggs. Such women may have undergone a previous sterilisation procedure, and now want to try again for a child. The biggest disadvantage is that a surplus of embryos for freezing is unlikely. Couples choosing this option must accept that it is a process that may be likely to take up to six months to achieve high pregnancy rates.


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HART Fertility Clinic Suite 1102, 11th Floor,
Netcare Christiaan Barnard Hospital,
D.F. Malan Street,
Cape Town, 8000

Cell: 081 572 9190

Landline: 021 286 2294

WhatsApp: 082 627 4910