Definition - What does Medicated Cycle mean?
A medicated cycle refers to the use fertility drugs to allow for more control over the outcomes of an assisted reproductive treatment (ART), including intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization (IVF) or frozen embryo transfer (FET).
Alternatively, a natural cycle refers to completing ART without the use of cycle regulating medications.
FertilitySmarts explains Medicated Cycle
Naturally, the body prepares for pregnancy by releasing a series of hormones that mature an egg in the follicle, release it during ovulation, and prepare a thick lining in the endometrium to support implantation. In order for ART to result in a successful conception, the body must follow similar steps in order to prepare to become and remain pregnant.
A medicated cycle can involve a series of medications that induce ovulation, triggering the body to prepare for conception in a methodical, traceable pattern. Estrogen pills, patches are shots are administered leading up to the procedure. Then 2-3 days prior to transfer, a shot of progesterone is provided to finalize the endometrial layer. Additionally, in some cases, GnRH agonists are provided to block ovulation from randomly occurring.
During a natural cycle, careful observation of a woman’s preexisting monthly rhythm is utilized to time treatment to coordinate with that cycle.
Women or couples who opt for natural cycle transfers typically do so because of its simplicity, reduced cost, and lack of additional medications. However, by allowing the body to maintain control, a natural cycle provides a level of unpredictability, which poses a level of risk for the success of the procedure.
Medicated cycles may be preferred for the convenience with scheduling (regulating the time of the procedure as opposed to waiting for the appropriate time), and a lower chance of complications or unexpected bodily actions.