You want a baby but you’re having trouble, so you decide to do IVF. You take hormone pills and hormone injections. Then you have the egg retrieval and embryo implantation. It takes a ton of time and money. but what if there was another way? Mini IVF, or Minimal Stimulation IVF, could be the solution for you. Read on to learn more.
What IS Mini IVF?
Perhaps you have heard of IVF, or In-Vitro Fertilization, but have you ever heard of Mini IVF? I hadn’t until I came across the topic in my research. When I saw the term, I dug a little deeper to find out more.
Minimal Stimulation IVF is similar to traditional IVF, except you take fewer hormones and medications. For an overview of traditional IVF, check out my blog HERE.
Traditional IVF Vs. Mini IVFBirth Control
With traditional IVF, you will start with a round of birth control pills to regulate your menstrual cycle. The same is true with Mini IVF.Hormone Injections
With the traditional IVF procedure, you will have to endure daily hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries, prevent ovulation, and get the uterus ready for embryo transfer.
With Mini IVF, you will not have to take daily injections. You will still get a doctor-given injection of Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to help the uterus prepare for pregnancy.Egg Production
With both traditional and Mini IVF, the doctor will give you medication to help your body produce more eggs than normal in one cycle.
With the traditional procedure, you can produce 8-15 eggs, but with the mini procedure, you may only produce 2-4 eggs. Fewer eggs may reduce the chances of pregnancy.Embryos
With fewer eggs in the mini procedure, you most likely will not have any leftover embryos to freeze for future procedures. It may take many cycles to achieve pregnancy.
With traditional IVF, you may have several embryos left to use with future IVF cycles. This means you will not have to go through the ovarian follicle stimulation and egg retrieval with future attempts.Time
Traditional IVF can take 2-3 weeks per cycle. If unsuccessful, most fertility specialists recommend you wait 2-3 months between attempts.
Mini IVF can take 1-2 weeks and you can do the treatments back-to-back without a wait time in between cycles.Cost
While the traditional procedure costs an average of $15,000, the mini procedure costs around $5,000-$7,000. This is due to the fact that you are not using as many fertility medications.Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
All too often with traditional IVF, women will suffer from OHSS. This is due to the high amount of ovary-stimulating medications in her system. The ovaries start working overtime, and it can be extremely painful to endure.
With Mini IVF, there is a much lower chance of developing OHSS. This is because of the lower amount of ovary-stimulating drugs. Sometimes with the mini procedure, you may not use any ovary-stimulating medications.Success Rates
Let’s take a look at the success rates of each procedure.
With Traditional In-Vitro Fertilization, there is a 47.5% success for women ages under 35 and a 39.9% chance of success for women ages 35-37.
The rates diminish for women over 37. Average success rate for women 38-42 is around 10%, and over 42 the rate drops to around 4%.
The quality/genetic makeup of a younger woman’s eggs is often better.Younger women usually produce more eggs for retrieval with IVF. Having more eggs may lead to more embryos, allowing a doctor to choose the best embryo from the group for transfer.
It is important to remember that these rates above are averages and each couple’s chance of success depends on several factors including age, diagnosis and prior treatment history.
With Minimal Stimulation IVF, chances of a successful pregnancy are around 10%, and the chances can vary depending upon many different factors. For instance, the number of eggs retrieved has a high bearing on success.How Do I Know If Mini IVF is Right for Me?
You may want to consider this procedure if you are under 35 years old. Chances of success also have been shown to increase if you have tubal factor infertility. It also may work for you if you have diminished ovarian reserve (few eggs left). The procedure will not work if your partner suffers from male factor infertility.
If you are trying to reduce costs and side effects, Mini IVF could work for you, but it seems like the higher chance of success lies within the traditional procedure. In the long run, it’s entirely up to you.