MEDICS at an Irish hospital are reporting the first birth here by means of a new natural cycle (NC) method of IVF.
Doctors at the HARI (Human Assisted Reproduction Ireland) centre at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin are reporting that a baby girl was recently born using the NC method that included an Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICS).
The costs are a third of those faced by couples seeking to reproduce through conventional IVF.
One of the doctors, Dr Sajida Detho, said natural-cycle IVF offered hope to women who have tried a conventional IVF cycle without success or who have a low number of eggs.
He said it also suited "women who do not want to take IVF medication due to its side effects and men who have severe sperm problems with a perfect female partner".
Dr Detho said it was "more economical in the sense that three natural cycles can be conducted at the price of one conventional IVF cycle".
He confirmed that the NC IVF had no side effect of medication and required fewer visits to the IVF unit.
The birth is reported in the current edition of the 'Irish Medical Journal'.
The report states that the natural cycle IVF has a negligible multiple pregnancy rate, compared to 20-30pc multiple pregnancy rates for IVF.
The risk of twins is increased twenty-fold in IVF.
The report says the couple in the case had a 30-month history of primary sub-fertility and had attended for discussion of assisted reproduction technique options. They had failed twice at conceiving through the Intrauterine insemination (IUI) method. The medics said the lower pregnancy rate per cycle for NC IVF could help to explain why the method had not been accepted widely by reproductive medicine practitioners.
The paper states: "Natural cycle IVF is an effective treatment for ovulatory women undergoing assisted conception. Cumulative live birth rates after four cycles can reach 32pc, comparable with 34pc for conventional IVF.
"Yet NC IVF is cheaper, less time-consuming, requires less medication, and has costs per cycle 20-23pc of stimulated IVF."