Over the past few decades, IVF has progressed immensely. Starting naturally, IVF initially followed a female’s natural hormone cycle producing usually one egg per cycle. From there, the use of modern medicine created a major shift in IVF to occur, allowing women to produce and harvest eggs in the double digits every cycle. It’s been said IVF is a numbers game. And in a way it is, but the main lesson we have learned over the years is that it’s about quality, not quantity. The numbers we refer to now focus on how many eggs per cycle are good quality and viable. That’s where minimal stimulation IVF came into play.

Some women who undergo IVF, especially those 39 and above, tend to have a lower ovarian reserve. A low ovarian reserve basically means that a woman’s egg supply has significantly depleted. There are lifestyle choices that potentially affect this, but in reality, the biggest contributor to a low ovarian reserve is age. Statistically, it has been proven that a female’s egg supply depletes as she ages, and after 32 the number of eggs available in a female’s ovarian reserve drops dramatically.

Poor Responders and Low Ovarian Reserve

Poor responder is a term used in the IVF community to describe anyone who has gone through conventional IVF and continues to produce less than 8 eggs per cycle, even with high doses of medication. This is especially the case if the eggs that are harvested tend to follow a pattern of not fully developing to the blastocyst stage or show signs of being genetically abnormal. Generally, poor responders suffer from a lower ovarian reserve already and the high medication doses do not positively stimulate their ovaries in the same way it might other patients.

What makes Mini IVF a better solution?

If you are over 39, Minimal Stimulation IVF, Mini IVF,  can increase your chances of pregnancy without the need for large doses of costly fertility medications. The Mini IVF protocol’s goal is to follow your natural hormone cycle and produce between 4-8 good quality eggs per cycle.

As we know, women normally produce one mature egg every menstrual cycle. With fertility drugs, more eggs can be produced. However, for those over 39, generally, no matter how many eggs are harvested, only 1 or 2 tend to be good quality eggs that result in a live birth, especially for women with low ovarian reserve or classified as poor responders. 

Mini IVF protocol:

  • Cycle monitoring through ultrasound imaging and blood tests
  • Surgical egg retrieval
  • Fertilization of egg and sperm in vitro via (ICSI)
  • Culture and monitoring of embryo(s) via EmbryoScope technology
  • Grading and selection of quality embryo(s) for fresh transfer and/or future (FET)
  • Single Embryo Transfer (SET)

Depending on each individual case, oral fertility medications like Clomid and Letrozole, are prescribed to gently stimulate her ovaries into producing multiple eggs. In some cases, three or fewer injectable medications like Menopur may be prescribed in combination with oral supplements to encourage egg production. Before retrieval, Synarel is delivered in the form of a nasal spray 36 hours prior to the procedure to trigger ovulation.

Other candidates for Mini IVF:

Not only is Mini IVF the best treatment protocol for women over 39. Other women can benefit from this holistic IVF alternative, Including:

  • Women suffering from tubal factor infertility
  • Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) who produce over 15 eggs but are low quality
  • Women at risk of developing Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
  • Women classified as poor responders with a low ovarian reserve
  • Women diagnosed with ovarian or breast cancer and are about to undergo treatment

Why New Hope?

New Hope Fertility Center is home to world-renowned fertility specialists. We custom design fertility treatments for the individual to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. Our specialists believe in putting the patient first and being with them through every step of the fertility journey. As the first facility to adopt the revolutionary Mini IVF protocol, our team is well versed in helping women of all ages reach their fertility goals. If you want compassionate fertility care, New Hope is the right place for you. Call us at (212) 517-7676 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation today!