Minimal Stim IVF

Our minimally invasive IVF treatment called minimal stim IVF utilizes less medication to stimulate the ovaries.

A study of conventional IVF results has shown that the typical stimulation used for the majority of IVF cycles results in many eggs, some of which are decreased quality. In addition, extra eggs retrieved may mean excess embryos to later freeze (cryopreserve). Many patients would prefer to have no excess embryos – either because they already have children and don’t want the burden of disposing of extra embryos, or because they are ethically opposed to cryopreserving embryos. Our minimally invasive IVF treatment (Minimal Stim-IVF) utilizes much less medication to stimulate the ovaries which results in fewer eggs. The ideal patient for the “minimal stim-IVF” is a patient who has had a previous tubal ligation, but proven fertility or those patients wishing to minimize the chance of extra embryos to freeze. The “minimal stim-IVF” also requires fewer monitoring visits and much less medicine thereby costing MUCH less for a full IVF cycle. If you are interested in “minimal stim-IVF”, talk to your physician to see if you are a candidate.

What are the negatives about minimal stim IVF?

  • While cost is generally lower for mini IVF, if the cycle is not successful, then the costs can actually be greater in the long run.
  • With typical IVF, if one cycle doesn’t work, you usually will have some embryos left over to freeze, which can be used during a frozen embryo transfer (FET).
  • With mini-IVF, you are less likely to have any extra embryos to freeze for future cycles.
  • There is also a greater risk of having no eggs to fertilize when using mini-IVF. Not every egg that is produced will survive the IVF process. As an example, with typical IVF, if 10 eggs are retrieved, it’s possible that only 5 may become fertilized, and just 3 may become healthy embryos to transfer.
  • If you start off with just two or three eggs, and all of those eggs don’t become fertilized or do not survive the embryo stage long enough to be transferred, you’ve lost the entire cycle.
  • Another possible problem with mini-IVF is that the procedure has not yet be fully studied, so success rates are unclear. It is probably best reserved for those patients with proven fertility who have a higher chance of having good quality eggs.

The Bottom Line: Minimal Stim-IVF may help save money (when compared to conventional IVF) and lower your risk of getting pregnant with multiples (when compared to IUI treatment), but it’s not for everyone and success rates are not yet clear.