Ditching the IVF Rollercoaster: The Surprising IVF Alternative

fabm infertility pcos

Motherhood. It’s one of the greatest desires of a woman. It’s real and it’s raw. The mystery of pregnancy and the anticipation of meeting the tiny human growing inside you keeps humankind moving forward. Yet, for many women, the desire for pregnancy is plagued with infertility. According to the CDC 1 in 5 women in the United States are diagnosed with infertility [1]. This struggle may stem from various factors, such as irregular cycles, endometriosis, or polycystic ovarian syndrome.

If you are one of the millions of women battling irregular cycles or PCOS you know the struggle all too well. When women seek direction from their doctor on how to get pregnant the go-to solution is often in vitro fertilization (IVF). I hear it time and time again. A woman seeks wise counsel from her physician on how to get pregnant and leaves the office with a prescription for the birth control pill and a referral to an IVF clinic. There is no logic for prescribing hormonal birth control before IVF other than a sheer function of profit-driven medical practices. It's a disheartening reality to prioritize expensive, invasive procedures over more holistic and less costly alternatives. Rather than addressing the root causes of infertility, assisted reproductive technologies often opt for quick fixes that line the pockets of clinics and pharmaceutical companies. It's a system built on profit rather than genuine concern for the well-being of women. And for those struggling with conditions like PCOS, where natural interventions offer meaningful solutions, this reliance on IVF can feel like a betrayal of trust. It's time to question the status quo and advocate for more patient-centered, evidence-based approaches to fertility care.

The IVF Alternative

What if there's another path? One that isn't driven by big pharma’s interests. This alternative to assisted reproductive technology just might be the game-changer you’ve been searching for. It’s called Restorative Reproductive Medicine and it has helped countless women get pregnant naturally, without wasting tens of thousands of dollars, overstimulating ovaries, or resorting to unnecessarily invasive procedures [2].

Restorative Reproductive Medicine (RRM) is a specialized branch of medicine that focuses on restoring and optimizing reproductive health using evidence-based approaches. Unlike conventional reproductive medicine, which often relies heavily on assisted reproductive technologies (such as in vitro fertilization and intrauterine insemination), Restorative Reproductive Medicine emphasizes the importance of identifying and addressing underlying factors that contribute to infertility and reproductive disorders.

RRM takes a comprehensive approach to reproductive health, considering the body as a whole and not just a function of its parts. Focusing on the endocrine system, immune system, and reproductive organs, this root cause approach seeks to promote fertility and reproductive wellness by addressing hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, lifestyle factors, and environmental influences that affect fertility. The outcome is often a woman optimizing her health and well-being, balancing her body, and getting pregnant naturally. Rather than feeling the awful side effects of excessive hormonal stimulation, she feels the best she’s felt in years. Irregular menstrual cycles become regular. Fatigue and fogginess turn to energy and clarity of mind. High BMI and hormonal imbalance turn into transformational stories of weight loss and improved health. A sign of a healthy woman is a healthy ovulation. If you are ovulating well, there is a good chance you can get pregnant naturally, without IVF.

NeoFertility, FEMM, and NaProTechnology are specific approaches within RRM that utilize medical and surgical interventions tailored to each individual's unique reproductive health needs. Restorative Reproductive Medicine aims to diagnose and treat underlying causes of infertility, recurrent miscarriage, and other reproductive disorders while respecting the natural physiology of the reproductive system.

Restorative Reproductive Medicine is a low-cost IVF alternative that offers a both-and approach. Medical protocols utilized by approaches such as Neo Fertility have high efficacy rates and rely on sophisticated medical protocols [3]. On the flip side, studies show that miscarriage rates increase in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome who undergo IVF and there is a higher incidence of poor perinatal outcomes [4].

Medical protocols and procedures, however, are just a branch of the RRM strategy. Medical and pharmacological treatment plans are paired with nutritional modifications, fertility awareness, and lifestyle modifications. It truly is a holistic approach to overcoming infertility.

Fertility Awareness

Most RRM healthcare professionals ask patients to track three complete menstrual cycles before their first workup. This allows for cycle-targeted evaluation and understanding of the woman’s hormonal baseline. Of course, I get excited when I hear a doctor requesting menstrual cycle charting for their patients. However, this leaves most women completely overwhelmed and wondering where to begin. What is the best period and ovulation tracker? How do you even chart signs of ovulation? How do you share your chart with your doctor?

These are all valid questions and a barrier to accessible and affordable fertility treatments. This is what we do at Chart Your Cycle. We help women chart their menstrual cycle using evidence-based fertility awareness practices. We help our clients prepare charts for their medical team and confidently communicate and advocate for their reproductive needs.

Health Coaching

Another important branch of the RRM strategy is nutrition and lifestyle modifications. Optimizing fertility from the inside requires a deep look into our daily choices. We’ve all been there. We go to the doctor with a problem and leave with the advice to lose fifteen pounds and exercise more. That is easy for a doctor to say, but without a concrete plan of action to reach a realistic goal, most patients only flounder in frustration and feel overwhelmed.

This is where health and wellness coaching enters the conversation. A well-trained health coach works with clients to identify roadblocks and create a strategic and actionable plan to optimize health and wellbeing. Health coaching bridges the gap between diagnosis and implementation, offering personalized guidance and support to achieve health goals effectively. At Chart Your Cycle, we understand individuals' challenges when striving to implement lifestyle changes. We offer tailored health coaching services to empower our clients on their journey towards optimal health and fertility.

Our experienced health coaches collaborate with clients to identify barriers, set achievable goals, and develop practical strategies for success. Whether it's optimizing nutrition, incorporating exercise routines, managing stress, or improving sleep patterns, our coaches provide ongoing support and accountability to ensure sustainable lifestyle modifications.

Moreover, we recognize the importance of connecting our clients with qualified Restorative Reproductive Medicine (RRM) professionals who can provide comprehensive care aligned with their individual needs. Through our network of RRM practitioners, we facilitate access to skilled healthcare professionals specializing in fertility awareness, hormonal balance, and reproductive health optimization.

Partnering with Chart Your Cycle means gaining access to a supportive community and expert guidance every step of the way. Our holistic approach to fertility and wellness empowers women to take control of their reproductive health journey with confidence and clarity.

If you're ready to embark on a transformative journey towards improved fertility and overall well-being, let Chart Your Cycle be your trusted partner. Contact us today to learn more about our health coaching services and how we can support you on your path to parenthood.

Written by: Melissa Buchan, CYC Founder and Fertility Coach


[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023). Infertility: What You Need to Know. CDC. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/infertility/index.htm 
[2] Boyle, P.C.; Toth, A.; ONeill, L.; Turczynski, C.J. Restorative Reproductive Medicine: An Emerging New Treatment Process and a Prerequisite to Assisted Reproductive Technology for Treatment of Infertility.. Preprints 2024, 2024010624. https://doi.org/10.20944/preprints202401.0624.v1 
[3] Boyle, P. C., Stanford, J. B., & Zecevic, I. (2022). Successful pregnancy with restorative reproductive medicine after 16 years of infertility, three recurrent miscarriages, and eight unsuccessful embryo transfers with in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection: a case report. Journal of medical case reports, 16(1), 246. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13256-022-03465-w 
[4] McDonnell, R., & Hart, R. J. (2017). Pregnancy-related outcomes for women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Women's health (London, England), 13(3), 89–97. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745505717731971 

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