Minimal stimulation in vitro fertilization, also known as MicroIVF and MiniIVF is a cost effective treatment option for young women who are attempting to conceive.
Although traditional full stimulation in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures produce better pregnancy rates, minimal stimulation IVF (MS-IVF) induces ovarian follicle and egg development with less hormonal stimulation. As a result, patients going through minimal stimulation IVF incur less expense (thousands of dollars less) from meds in addition to the savings from less required monitoring and labwork. Currently, the fee for MS-IVF/MicroIVF is $3900.
Another benefit to MS-IVF is that a woman is not subjected to the high dose of gonadotropin drug stimulation eliminating the risk of hyperstimulation syndrome. It is also a lower risk to developing a multiple pregnancy and therefore results in safer pregnancies more likely to result in a live, healthy baby.
Although we get our highest pregnancy rates in young patients with lots of follicles like those with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), MS- IVF may be especially cost effective for older patients who do not respond to gonadotropin stimulation with very many follicles and eggs. We sometimes get as many eggs from a MS-IVF stimulation as a full stimulation in this group.
For patients who do not have coverage for intrauterine insemination (IUI), MS-IVF is a more cost effective, more successful, lower cost alternative and should therefore be considered as a first line of therapy before IUI especially when compared to gonadotropin IUI treatment.
If MS-IVF has all these advantages then why don’t all IVF programs offer it? The reason may be related to the fact that MS-IVF cases are counted the same as any IVF case in statistical reporting of pregnancy rates. Since success with a full stimulation is still on the average about twice that of MS-IVF, performing MS-IVFs will lower a program’s reported success rate. This is a difficult obstacle to overcome as many patients will comparison shop prior to selecting an IVF program.
For us, it is the welfare of our patients that is our concern. It is our goal to deliver the safest and most cost effective treatment to our patients that will offer our patients their best chance of building their family. We wish to make IVF accessible and safe to all those in need.