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Mini IVF

Mini IVFMini IVF, also known as low-intensity IVF or mild or minimal ovarian stimulation IVF, is rapidly gaining in popularity. With mini IVF, a milder and more natural ovarian stimulation is used in place of the standard IVF stimulation. Arguments in favor of this type of IVF are:

  • the suggestion of better quality embryos with low-dose ovarian stimulation protocols
  • more ‘physiological’ IVF treatments
  • less costly approaches
  • increased public support for simpler and less costly IVF

Oral medications such as Clomiphene Citrate and Femara are used to stimulate the ovaries in place of the usual injectable gonadotropins (Follistim, Gonal-F or Menopur). On occasion mixed protocols with oral medications and gonadotropins are used, but the total amount of gonadotropins used is a fraction of what is normally used in a standard IVF cycle. The intent usually is to produce less than eight eggs (oocytes).

How successful is Mini IVF?

How successful mini IVF is depends on who you ask. Some reports suggest a pregnancy rate comparable with conventional IVF, while others report a much lower pregnancy rate. The reality is that, as with conventional IVF, factors such as the woman’s age, her ovarian reserve, and the medications used affect the success of mini IVF. Women with normal ovarian reserve should have better results than women with diminished ovarian reserve (high FSH and or low AMH). Similarly, younger women should be more successful than older.

Who is a good candidate for Mini IVF?

  • Young women with normal ovarian reserve are good candidates for mini IVF. These women should respond better to ovarian stimulation, have more follicles at egg retrieval, and as a result have more embryos available at transfer.
  • Couples who, for religious, moral or personal reasons, want to limit the number of embryos created and don’t desire embryo or egg cryopreservation. Mini IVF can be a practical option for these couples as a small number of oocytes are collected and fewer embryos are created.
  • Women at high risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome or with a previous bad experience with hormonal (gonadotropin) stimulation.
  • Candidates for intrauterine insemination seeking a more effective treatment.
  • Mini IVF has also been suggested as an option for women with diminished ovarian reserve. These women usually have a poor response to aggressive gonadotropin stimulation during conventional IVF. With Mini IVF, the thought is the woman will still produce the same number of eggs with milder stimulation, and the quality of the eggs may be better. Further studies are needed to truly define the role mini IVF in these patients.

Mini IVF is available at Troché Fertility Centers. For further information or questions please contact Troché Fertility Centers for a consultation.

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