East Bay Fertility Center

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Minimal Stimulation IVF

We understand you are anxious to conceive, have a busy life, and are probably looking for the easiest, least expensive, and most common sense approach to conceiving. That's why we make so much effort in providing you with the most gentle and natural fertility. Minimal stimulation IVF-ICSI and natural IVF treatments allow you just that, a very effective and simply the easiest IVF experience available today.

Minimal Stimulation IVF was developed by Reproductive specialists in Japan and is more common place in Europe to reduce costs while maintaining the same success rates. For older patients, the success rate is even higher than with conventional IVF. Since 2007 our center is the first in Utah to successfully perform these on a routine basis thus perfecting the art and providing patients with a much less expensive option.

Minimal Stimulation IVF is designed to recruit only a few (but high quality) eggs, thus avoiding the risks of hyperstimulation, reducing the number of injections and dramatically reducing the cost of medications. Several years ago, Nobel prize winner Robert Edwards, M.D. spoke to the Reproductive community and in essence said we need to reduce the number of eggs developed in the reproductive cycle to return to a more natural method of conception while still benefitting from the available technology. The English IVF Pioneer, Dr. Robert Edwards, who in 1978 had the first successful IVF pregnancy once again shows his genius and yet so few have taken his ideas to the patient.

This mini-IVF utilizes oral medications including low dose Clomid within the first few days of your menstrual cycle then augments the developing follicles if necessary with a very low “booster” dose of gonadotropins (FSH/LH). At the right time, we either rely on your own LH (ovulatory) surge or artificially induce it and at the appropriate time retrieve the available mature eggs and fertilize them. Clomid blocks estrogen’s stimulation of LH release, and so also prevents premature ovulation. Thus, with this simple change in protocol, the age old inexpensive Clomid is able to stimulate the development of smaller number of better quality eggs for IVF.

For many years, I had thought about clomid IVF cycles and desired to start them but our pregnancy success with traditional IVF was so high, I told myself why change a good thing. It wasn’t until Dr. Edwards came out with his suggestions to return to recruiting only a few of the best eggs in the cycle as well as my teaming up with a new embryologist who had the same idea that we began to obtain more information on it and began. This new embryologist was highly skilled at ICSI (intra cytoplasmic sperm injection) which also better enabled us to perform minimal stimulation IVF cycles because it better guaranteed fertilization of the eggs. Most of our IVF cycles now are minimal stimulation IVF because of there low cost and high success rate.

The downside of minimal stimulation IVF is that it is less suitable for the freezing of surplus embryos because generally only between 2-6 are retrieved. Once in a while, with minimal stimulation IVF there are some excess good quality embryos that are available to be cryopreserved and stored for future cycles. Many women, however, want a supply of frozen embryos for future use when they are ready to add additional children to their family, especially if they are one of the few who have low ovarian reserve. For these women, traditional IVF is more likely the better approach. Unless you are young (mid to early 20's) and healthy, many of the left over eggs retrieved from a traditional IVF cycle are much lower quality and/or don’t have the potential to become a fully developed fetus. There is also a higher cycle cancellation rate due to "too few eggs" and there is a reduced chance of producing extra embryos for freezing and use in a future cycle.

It sounds too good to be true: IVF without painful injections, debilitating side effects, multiple births or the dilemma of how to deal with leftover embryos.

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