THE NAT­U­RAL WAY

Living and Loving - - PREGNANCY & BIRTH -

Q| I had a baby via in vitro fer­til­i­sa­tion (IVF) two years ago. I would love to fall preg­nancy again. How­ever, my ex­pe­ri­ence with IVF was quite trau­matic. Is it pos­si­ble to con­ceive nat­u­rally or do we have to go the same route again?

A As many as 20% of cou­ples who have pre­vi­ously con­ceived via

IVF will con­ceive nat­u­rally without any treat­ment. Some ex­perts put this phe­nom­e­non down to chance, but oth­ers be­lieve the re­duc­tion in the stress as­so­ci­ated with in­fer­til­ity and fer­til­ity treat­ments may be the rea­son for fall­ing preg­nant nat­u­rally.

The chance of spon­ta­neous con­cep­tion hap­pen­ing will de­pend on the rea­son for the in­fer­til­ity in the first place. If an ab­so­lute fac­tor of in­fer­til­ity is present, such as blocked tubes or ab­sent sperm, there is very lit­tle like­li­hood of a spon­ta­neous preg­nancy. How­ever, in other cases like en­dometrio­sis or milder forms of sperm prob­lems, a nat­u­ral preg­nancy may be pos­si­ble. The woman’s age also plays an im­por­tant role and time avail­able for a nat­u­ral preg­nancy should be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion.

The de­ci­sion on the length of time dur­ing which a spon­ta­neous preg­nancy should hap­pen will de­pend on the cause of the in­fer­til­ity and the needs of the in­di­vid­ual cou­ple. For many cou­ples, the ur­gency to fall preg­nant may re­duce con­sid­er­ably if they al­ready have a child and they do not con­sider IVF as an op­tion, and are con­tent to let na­ture take its course.

Dr Marienus Trouw, ob­ste­tri­cian, gy­nae­col­o­gist and fer­til­ity spe­cial­ist

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