Mini Stim IVF, sometimes called Mild IVF, is a trend in fertility treatments. The same medications are used as traditional IVF, just using lower doses.
Fewer eggs are retrieved, but the experience for women undergoing the treatment is usually more benign. Shunned by academia because of evidence that Mini Stim IVF may lead to fewer pregnancies, it nevertheless has become a media darling and very popular with couples in what has now become a patient-driven market.
Here are some of the reasons people opt for Mini IVF:
Fear of Hormonal Treatments:
The basis for traditional IVF is injections to harvest a good number of eggs. Most women are concerned about the side effects that may include unpleasant mood changes, bloating and weight gain. Many women are also worried that hormonal treatments may increase breast or ovarian cancer later in life despite studies that have disproved this concern.
Disillusionment with Medical Establishment:
Some patients, frustrated by the overall low success rates of traditional IVF, especially in older women, do not understand why some doctors refuse to “give a try” to something new and alternative, and continue to offer them the same treatments over and over again, even when they do not succeed.
Mini Stim IVF has “Zen” Appeal:
Many alternative and complementary treatments, like acupuncture and herbal medicine have come to us from Asia. Dr. Kato in Tokyo developed Mini IVF and invaded the world of fertility thanks to the mystique of a new Japanese treatment that was more benign and minimalistic. While the procedures are very similar to traditional IVF, lower dosages of drugs are used.
This is the most valid point in favor of Mini Stim IVF. There is no doubt that IVF is expensive. Medications are a big part of the cost. Therefore using a quarter of the medication will definitely reduce the cost of the cycle.
One More Thing to Try When a Woman has Tried Everything:
One of the last frontiers of IVF is that of treating an aging population. With the wave of baby boomers passing through, many patients in the age range of 39 to 45 are now seeking fertility treatments. Studies seem to suggest that there is not one single IVF protocol that is superior to others to treat women who do not produce many eggs, the so-called “poor responders.” It seems logical that these women are seeking alternatives that, at a minimum are less invasive and costly.
Many patients are seeking what they perceive to be an overall less invasive and novel alternative to the traditional approach.
At Pathways Fertility, we believe that IVF should cost less to make it more affordable. And we offer Natural IVF and Mini Stim IVF as options to our patients.