Minimal Stimulation (Mini) IVF

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Infertility topics explained by Brian Acacio, M.D.. 
Acacio Fertility Center, southern California.  (949)249-9200 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (949)249-9200 end_of_the_skype_highlighting


Minimal (mini) stimulation IVF (or sometimes called “micro” IVF) is an increasingly popular approach to IVF. The concept is to use lower dosages of stimulation medications, or in some cases, no medications at all. This is called “natural cycle” IVF. Mini IVF constitutes oral medication alone or in combination with low dose injectable medications.

There are 2 groups of individuals that mini-IVF may be ideal. The first is a woman whom declines to take any stimulation medications at all (cancer fear, needle phobia, etc) or does not accept conventional stimulation dosages. In most cases, with proper counseling and support these concerns can be overcome. Ideal candidates for this approach are those women that are known to be very low (poor) responders to conventional IVF stimulation. For instance, a woman that has been on conventional (high dosage) stimulation protocols and yet produces only 1-3 follicles. She may in fact produce the same number of follicles on much lower regimens. The financial savings can be significant.

However, mini-IVF has been proposed for young, normal responders as a means of saving money both on the medications and treatment. Beware! You only save money if you get pregnant and have a baby. Considering that mini-IVF has significantly lower pregnancy rates (in the 10% range by legitimate reports) the average person would have a much higher chance of success with a conventional IVF stimulation approach. Furthermore, given there are almost never any frozen embryos from the mini-IVF approach, the need to perform multiple stimulations , egg retrievals, and embryo transfers is almost certain.

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