Fertility Network UK
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Natural vs Medicated FET

Hi all. I am technically in the 2ww but I have had two full days of very heavy bleeding so already starting to think about the next step. My official test day isn't for another whole week but I am already starting to think about the next step as I will need to start ovulation sticks just after that if I go for a natural cycle.

I am very lucky in that I have 13 frozen embryos left (I had hyperstimulation). I did this cycle medicated, partly because it was NHS funded, and also because it means the dates are set and I felt more in control. At my clinic, if the date needed for transfer is on a weekend with a natural cycle they are often not able to do it and you have to wait for the next cycle.

Does anyone have experience of both natural and medicated FET? What did people find best for them? I think the success rates are about the same.

I want to crack straight on with the next try. I am worried if I go natural I might take a while to ovulate again, as I have been on hormones for so many months now.

Any advice or experiences would be so helpful.

Thanks xxx

4 Replies

Hi Shelly,

I'm really sorry that it looks like your current cycle has been unsuccessful.

I have not had a medicated FET, but am currently 21 weeks pregnant after a natural FET and would completely recommend it. In my first, fresh (medicated) round, I found that the drugs and procedures made me so stressed and that, along with juggling work and all the time off, it really affected my mental health. With the natural, I was able to take it all in my stride and was so much more relaxed about the whole thing and I really think that the lack of stress helped us to get our BFP.

All I had was one scan to make sure my lining was thickening. I tested at home for ovulation, let my clinic know when I was surging and they got me in 7 days later for transfer. When I was in your position, unsure what road to go down, another member on here said that, once the embryos are in there, your body knows what to do naturally and I completely agree with her. I would always advocate a natural transfer and, if I was ever to do IVF again, I think I would freeze all our embryos to transfer naturally later.

It is a disappointment that you may not ovulate for a while, or that if you need transfer on a weekend they may not be able to do it, but, personally, I would much rather wait for a month or two and give the natural a go. Plus, most clinics ask you to wait for 3 months before undergoing your next round anyway, to give your body a chance to rejuvenate and get over everything it's been through. Do make sure you speak to your consultant though, our's said that she thought a natural would be just as successful for us as a medicated. I am not sure if I would have gone with natural if she'd said there would be less chance of it working.

Good luck, I hope you are able to progress with your treatment soon and that it all goes well for you. Xxx


Thanks so much, that's really helpful. How long did it take your cycle to become ovulatory/regular again after your medicated cycle? I can see the appeal of a natural cycle, it hopefully would make life seem a bit back to normal for a while x


Hi Shelly, I'm afraid I can't remember how long it took my cycle to get back to normal, but I don't remember having any particular issues. My clinic's policy was to not give a review appointment until 3 months after our first cycle failed (we had a chemical pregnancy) and, when I did see the consultant, they said I could go straight away with my next cycle. We did end up postponing for a month to go on holiday (I am a teacher and so can only go away in the school holidays) as we thought the relaxation just before would be beneficial and which was actually a godsend as my school also had a long-expected Ofsted inspection in that month which relieved a huge amount of stress and pressure! But I'm sure that by 3 months after I was all back to normal and ready to go again.

It may sound silly, but for us everything just seemed to slot into place and it just seemed 'right', so I kind of knew it would work that time. That included going natural - I knew from the moment the consultant suggested it that it was the route I wanted to go down. So, I would say, don't get hung up on timescales or anything else, just do what feels right. If the opportunity to go on holiday or something else comes up and it means postponing for a bit but that you might be in a better place physically and emotionally, go for it. I was deliberating about whether to postpone treatment to go on holiday - it seemed really selfish - but, actually, if we hadn't, Ofsted would have turned up in the middle of my 2ww and the stress of that would have no doubt stopped it from working.

I hope that helps. Good luck! Xxx

1 like

I had a medicated fet and really suffered badly from the down regulating with terrible migraines. I don't think that a natural fet is an option for me because my lining seems to need the boost of drugs but if that wasn't the case I would love to have tried a natural fet, it must be so much easier on the body. Good luck whatever you decide x


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