THE NATURAL WAY
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