IVF is expensive, distressing, and physically difficult for some, and if that is you, maybe you should consider the option of mild IVF, also known as micro IVF or mini IVF.
In mild IVF you will be given a smaller dosage of fertility drugs for a few days, which means lower cost, lesser discomfort and side-effects. However, with this method fewer eggs are collected, which in turn could result in lesser chances of success.
Read the below to understand what mild IVF is, what are its pros and cons, and if you should opt for mild IVF at all.
How is it done?
As the name suggests, mild or mini IVF is a softer approach to the conventional IVF, which means a lesser aggressive drug therapy is used.
The suppression of gonadotropin hormones, as in the antagonist protocol of IVF, is not done in this procedure so your body will never go into the temporary menopausal stage.
Eggs will be collected after only a few days of ovarian stimulation and fused with the sperm from your partner.
The resultant embryos will be then transferred to your uterus.
So, it is more convenient and cheaper than conventional IVF, why don’t all doctors offer it all the time and make it the standard treatment? Because the success rates are believed to be lower. Mild IVF is not for everyone and you must read the pros and cons before making a final decision.
Pros and Cons of Mild IVF
- A lower dose of fertility drugs is required
- Injections are given for a shorter time period
- Unlike in conventional IVF, the suppression of natural cycle is not done, which means you will not face any menopausal symptoms
- Fewer side effects on your body
- In case the treatment is not successful, it can be repeated more quickly because the body recovers more easily
- Cost of IVF is lower per cycle
- Fewer eggs are collected
- Fewer embryos are formed, which means there is little choice to select and transfer the best quality embryos
- Success rates are lower
- Could prove to be more expensive if multiple cycles are required
What are my chances of success with mild IVF?
It wouldn’t be fair to draw conclusions on the limited data that is available yet. However, it is surely stated that fewer eggs result from mild stimulation IVF, which result in a lower success rate.
The above chart is based on data shared by the Journal of Human Reproduction
Is it for me?
Only a detailed discussion with your doctor after completely studying your reports can reveal if mild IVF is for you. It is offered in selective cases where:
- You have a history of PCOS
- You are at a high risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)
- You have chances of adverse reactions to fertility drugs
- Your ovarian reserve is so low that even after taking standard amount of fertility drugs only few eggs are collected (as in older age women)
Mild IVF has become a little bit of a trend with some clinic aggressively promoting this technique over the conventional method. However, as of now, the available data suggests that the chances of IVF success are higher in cases where more eggs are collected.
Have an honest discussion with your infertility doctor about the ideal protocol of IVF given your conditions.