With standard IVF, higher doses of hormonal injections (FSH) are given to promote the growth of multiple eggs in order to create multiple embryos. IVF does not improve the quality of eggs but rather, by retrieving multiple eggs and creating multiple embryos, increases the odds of finding a good quality embryo capable of achieving a live birth.
In cases where resting egg count is low or other blood tests indicate diminished ovarian reserve, Minimal Stimulation IVF can be used. Minimal Stimulation IVF differs from traditional IVF in the type and amount of fertility medications used to stimulate the growth of egg follicles. The goal of Minimal Stimulation IVF is to recruit 2-3 eggs of the best quality using lower doses of medicine over 2-3 cycles. With Minimal Stimulation IVF, a tablet form of fertility medication called clomiphene citrate is taken for 5 days to increase the natural production of the hormone FSH followed by lower doses of FSH injections. Although less embryos are produced from minimal stimulation cycles, good pregnancy rates are still observed.
Since less medication and doctor office visits are needed, the overall costs of Minimal Stimulation IVF are significantly lower than traditional In vitro fertilization cycles. Other benefits include fewer injections and shorter treatment times. Minimal Stimulation In Vitro fertilization is an excellent alternative for women who respond poorly to traditional hormonal stimulation, have failed traditional IVF, or those who would prefer to use less hormones. Embryos can also be frozen and banked for future embryo transfer.