Natural IVF in Japan

About five years ago my husband and I began trying to start a family. It was the beginning of our journey through infertility.  I always worried I might be infertile due to a childhood condition I had as a child (one that nearly killed me).

Before we married I warned him of the possibility, but he wanted to marry anyway.  He wanted children, but he wanted me more. He could live without kids if that was what it came to. However, he didn’t feel he could live without me.

So we got married and after a year or more began trying in earnest.  Nothing happened. Every month it would be a negative.

The first fertility clinic we went to had a female doctor. She could not give reasons and gave me some Chinese medicine to help. It didn’t.

Then my husband’s company transferred him and we put our family plans on pause. Our new area had a lot better options on fertility. The next clinic we went to had very good results for success. The lobby was always packed with women and the wait was two hours.

They had me pee in a cup to check if I was close to ovulating. They tried clomid with disastrous results. They also checked my AMH and discovered I was critically low and running out of time. I am likely to hit menopause before the age of 35.

I was devastated.

That clinic failed us so we switched to a different one where they also made me pee in a cup. The doctor had a sense of humor, something most lacked. Like the clinic before he was a guy.  He had me monitor my body temperature every morning, but my basal body temperature never rises (I likely wasn’t ovulating much at this time).

It was there he performed an MRI and gave a devastating prognosis: adenomyosis

My uterus was heavily compromised by it. I likely also have endometriosis since the two tend to come together. I might never be able to become pregnant

I held it together the whole train ride home and, upon entering the doorway of my home, burst into tears in front of my husband who quickly hugged me and said it would be all right.

We went ahead and tried chemical IVF for the first time, but the cycle had to be cancelled. I failed to grow even three follicles from all those hormones. We still had to pay nearly $4000 for a completely failed round.

We decided one more time, but summer vacation was coming up. The doctor seemed more interested in his vacation (which I don’t hold against him since Japanese need to relax more) but something in the way he went about it irked me. This clinic had failed us for over six months.

It was time to move on. I called my husband he scheduled us an appointment at a clinic that specialized in natural IVF. I had never heard of this treatment before.

I walked in and they drew my blood. A follicle was almost mature and they asked if I’d like to extract the egg. I was floored.  “Okay,” I said. The next day they took it out by needle, fertilized it, and then called us up to ask if we wanted to put the embryo back in.

Well, we did and two weeks later I was told by the doctor “You’re pregnant. Congratulations”.

I cried so hard and called my husband. For the next four and half a months were happy times. Our little one grew and grew.  But some dreams don’t last. I still don’t feel up to sharing why we lost our son, but it had nothing to do with the IVF or my uterus.

Still, even though we lost our son, it taught us to hope. I held a baby to over 17 weeks in a uterus the doctor had said might never be able to hold an embryo at all. Sometimes I think of my son.

We haven’t given up. We are still using IVF to collect and freeze eggs since I’m running out and we thought stocking up for the future would be a good idea.

I now recommend natural IVF when I can. It worked much better for me and is far more affordable than chemical IVF in my opinion.

Here is a link on it for those that might be interested.

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When I was in my twenties, I moved to Japan and met a man there. We embarked on our adventure through life and love. I have lived with him in Japan ever since. We want to start a family, but that is proving difficult. I struggle with infertility. We almost had a child, but that ended in tragedy. Now we enjoy each day and hope that one day we'll hear the pitter-patter of little feet and the bubbly laughter of a child. In the meantime, I enjoy writing, love, studying, traveling, and working. These posts are my thoughts and stories of my life here.

5 thoughts on “Natural IVF in Japan”

  1. This is really good information to know! I didn’t even know natural IVF existed! I’ll pass this information on to the husband and see what he thinks. My main problem with IVF is all the drugs they give you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad this is helpful information.

      I’ve struggled with infertility for over five years of TTC. I didn’t know of natural IVF until a year and a half ago.

      None of the doctors at the other clinics ever mentioned or even suggested it!

      Few clinics want to do it because it isn’t as lucrative as chemical IVF.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry you’ve been through so much. I can only imagine how hard it must have been to come so close but then lose a baby at 17 weeks. I did read somewhere that women who manage to get pregnant at all with IVF have a better chance of it eventually working. That probably doesn’t offer much comfort though. I’ve been wondering recently whether natural IVF might be good in my case too. I’ve read it can be great for poor responders since the quality of the eggs aren’t affected. It takes way more cycles to work though. We made an appointment at another clinic further away from where we live and they offer it there so I’ll definitely be asking whether it might be something in my case.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It offers some comfort and hope. I just hope I have enough good eggs left to get a second chance.

      I am a very poor responder. Natural IVF is the only thing that ever worked for me.

      I do warn you of one thing about natural IVF. Some clinics will try to discourage it because it isn’t the cash cow that chemical IVF is.

      I hope you don’t run across that type. Of course, that type usually never offers it at all.

      Good luck to you! I hope you strike gold at your next clinic. *Thoughts and prayers*


  3. Thank you for sharing this. It must have been awful to lose your son so far along… I’m so sorry. I am also a slow responder with endometriosis. We were considering natural cycle IVF if we had gone private, but in the end we had a successful cycle from our final NHS “free” cycle where you don’t get to choose the protocol. If that hadn’t worked, I am pretty sure we would have pursued natural / mild IVF. I think it makes more sense. Wishing you lots of luck.

    Liked by 1 person

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