MicroIVF, also known as MiniIVF and minimal stimulation is an IVF procedure whereby a patient’s ovaries are stimulated with oral medications (clomid) usually with a minimal amount of injectable gonadotropins. The process then proceeds in identical fashion to conventional IVF with egg retrieval, fertilization, embryo culture and ultrasound guided embryo transfer. This new protocol cuts down on costs and diminishes the risks of multiple births.
Young, healthy patients and patients with many follicles such as those with polycystic ovarian syndrome have the best response to the minimal stimulation with a result that typically includes multiple high quality embryos often even allowing for cryopreservation of embryos for a potential additional transfer in the future. When combined with East Coast Fertility’s Single Embryo Transfer Program, the cryopreservation, embryo storage and future frozen embryo transfers are free.
As an alternative to intrauterine insemination, patients can triple their success and lower their risk at pretty much similar costs. Of course patients with pelvic adhesions/scarring, blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis and severe male factor have an even lower or no chance of success with intrauterine insemination but yet their probability of success with MicroIVF is as good as that of any other patient.
The fee at East Coast Fertility for MicroIVF is currently $3900 but an additional $1000 fee is added if patients require ICSI to facilitate fertilization and/or $550 if anesthesia is requested. An IUI with hormone injections ranges from $3500 to $4500 including medication. The medication cost for MicroIVF is not much more than $100. Furthermore, one need not worry with MicroIVF that all the eggs ovulated may fertilize and implant as could happen with intrauterine insemination. The risk of high order multiple pregnancies that one faces with intrauterine insemination is eliminated with MicroIVF. You control how many embryos with which you can potentially get pregnant.
There is a risk of hyperstimulation syndrome associated with hormone injections that is essentially eliminated with MicroIVF. This condition can result in enlarged ovaries, abdominal swelling and bloating, fluid that can push up on the lungs causing difficulty with breathing. Patients can develop dehydration that can place them at risk of developing a blood clot. This is not a concern with MicroIVF as it is with intrauterine insemination.
In summary, MicroIVF, especially as an alternative to intrauterine insemination, offers a low cost, safer and more efficient means to build a family.