Minimal Stimulation IVF
A New IVF option to a healthy baby
ReproMed Fertility Center is among a limited number of fertility centers now offering Minimal Stimulation In Vitro Fertilization (MS- IVF). MS-IVF is a less invasive procedure than conventional IVF. The difference between conventional IVF and Minimal Stimulation IVF is the intensity of ovarian stimulation, which is the first step in the IVF process. In conventional IVF, varying doses of hormones are injected daily for several days to produce multiple follicles, each follicle contains one egg. In Minimal Stimulation IVF, physicians use oral medications or a mixture of oral medication and low doses of injectable hormones to stimulate the ovaries.
In MS-IVF the process of stimulation differs in that oral medications are combined with lower doses of injectable medications to yield similar number of eggs as in conventional IVF cycles. However in Minimal Stimulation IVF we offer 2 stimulation cycles followed by egg retrieval. To date there are no full medical studies comparing conventional IVF and Minimal Stimulation IVF pregnancy rates, but there is sound medical basis to suggest that for many patients Minimal Stimulation IVF may be preferred. Minimal Stimulation IVF allows for a greater selection of embryos to choose from there by allowing for the possibility of better quality of embryos for transfer. The success of Minimal Stimulation IVF may also be attributed to the fact that the embryos are transferred in a separate cycle allowing the physician to better control the hormonal milieu resulting in a positive impact on the lining of the uterus and better implantation rates.
Who is a good candidate for MS-IVF?
Good candidates for Minimal Stimulation IVF include those who have failed to develop multiple eggs in response to conventional IVF, women with hypersensitive ovaries and patients with significant financial constraints. In conventional IVF women with hypersensitive ovaries can suffer from severe Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). People with significant financial constraints are good candidates for Minimal Stimulation IVF as it can cost significantly less than conventional IVF.
Advantages of Minimal Stimulation IVF
The use of fewer medications and lower doses of medications results in significant cost savings for patients. The reduction in medication costs can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars per cycle. This cost savings could make IVF affordable for those who may not have been able to afford conventional IVF otherwise.
The conventional IVF procedure requires hormone level test and vaginal sonograms every 24 to 72 hours. These tests allow the IVF team to modify the medication dosing and determine the timing of the egg retrieval procedure. With Minimal Stimulation IVF there are fewer monitoring visits, reducing your stress and inconvenience. Also there are fewer injections than with conventional IVF reducing the discomfort common with fertility medication.
Less Risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation compared to conventional IVF
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is caused when the ovaries are over stimulated which results in the ovaries becoming swollen and painful; about 1/4 of women taking ovarian stimulation drugs for conventional IVF get a mild form of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome. This typically goes away after about a week but can last as long as several weeks. In severe cases it can cause rapid weight gain, abdominal pain, vomiting and shortness of breath.
Embryos for Cryopreservation
In conventional IVF, there are usually extra embryos frozen, especially in patients younger than 35. In Minimal Stimulation IVF, the goal is to freeze a few good quality embryos for later use. This can be an advantage for patients with ethical or religious concerns as the number of embryos may be fewer than with conventional IVF.