Mini-IVF or micro IVF (also called mild or minimal stimulation in vitro fertilization), is a very similar option to IVF but with low stimulation of the ovaries. It’s an option for women who may respond better to lower doses of medication and the quality of the eggs.
The method involves giving a woman a daily pill for 10 to 12 days that contains a low dose of the fertility drug Clomid. This drug stimulates ovulation by blocking the estrogen receptors at the hypothalamus, which is known as an important “hormonal control center” for the body, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Clomid helps the hypothalamus stimulate the release of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), which are stimulants that trigger ovulation in a woman’s cycle.
Throughout the mini-IVF treatment, women undergo a series of ultrasounds to check if their eggs are growing healthily. Once a woman’s eggs are deemed large enough, approximately 10 days later, doctors then remove them during a five-minute operation that doesn’t require general anesthesia, reports the Daily Mail.
Why try Mini IVF?
Some women can’t, or don’t want to, take many fertility medications. For these women, Mini IVF may be an appropriate alternative. Supporters claim that Mini IVF costs less, has fewer side effects, takes less time, and is more comfortable than standard IVF. Critics say that you may never see these benefits of Mini IVF since you may just have to do more IVF cycles until you become pregnant.
Couples who are eager to find ways to reduce the cost, time commitment, and side effects of standard IVF, may consider Mini IVF, even with its lower success rates. Mini IVF may be right for you if you:
- Are under 35
- Have tubal factor infertility
- Do not have male factor infertility
- Cannot tolerate the injections of traditional IVF
- Have diminished ovarian reserve and don’t respond well to gonadotropin injections.
If Mini IVF sounds appealing, ask your doctor if your fertility clinic offers this procedure. Avoiding daily injections may no doubt reduce your risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). OHSS is a serious problem that sometimes occurs with standard IVF treatment.
For more Information you can also consult WF Team member Dr. Vaishali Tandon who has been an Infertility Specialist for last 7 years.