Mini IVF arose from the need of reproductive medicine doctors to realize the dream of having a child for women with infertility problems who can benefit from IVF but with a much lower dose of drugs. Essentially, this method is applied to women with reduced ovarian reserves (premature ovarian failure, regardless of the woman’s age)

Minimal Stimulation in vitro Fertilization or Mini IVF in vitro fertilization aims to harvest the maximum number of good-quality eggs in women with ovarian reserves disproportionate to their age, without pushing the female body to its limits.

The main difference between conventional IVF and Mini-IVF is the amount of medication given to the woman to stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs. Essentially, Mini-IVF enhances the woman’s natural cycle, with a smaller dose of hormones. The lower cost of Mini-IVF drugs should not be overlooked, which is almost 20% of the cost of conventional IVF drugs.

With Mini-IVF, fewer eggs are produced compared to the classic IVF procedure, always aiming to collect high-quality eggs.
The procedure of Mini-IVF is very simple. In conventional IVF and after high doses of injectable medication for about 1 to 2 weeks depending on the protocol, usually 7-15 eggs are collected, of which only 5-7 are really high quality.

On the contrary, in Mini-IVF the woman follows the same medication but in a much lower dose and without any or very few injections (3-4). In Mini-IVF, 1-3 eggs are collected, but they are of high quality. In women with reduced ovarian reserves, it is worth trying the mini-IVF method because if the conventional IVF method were applied, the final number of collected eggs would be similar to that of the mini-IVF protocol. This fact prevents the category of these women from using injections for hormonal stimulation of their ovaries.

Throughout the procedure, the woman is monitored by her doctor with blood tests and ultrasounds in order to decide the most suitable moment for the retrieval of the eggs, then their fertilization with the partner’s sperm and finally the embryo transfer.

The major advantage of Mini-IVF is the avoidance of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome and in most cases, the only side effects for the woman are a mild headache and/or fatigue that will only last a few days.

It is known that the extremely high dose of stimulant drugs used in conventional IVF appears to result in a lower implantation rate after embryo transfer.

With the use of Mini-IVF the levels of hormones in the blood keep pace with those of normal conception conditions. This essentially means that the endometrium will be in excellent condition and a very friendly hormone-free environment will develop for the embryo to implant, thus increasing the chances of pregnancy.

Which women are suitable for Mini – IVF?

• Women who have had a poor response to ovarian hormone stimulation in previous IVFs and who have low ovarian reserve (AMH value <1 ng).
• Women who had experienced high hormonal stimulation.
• Women at high risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
• Women who are older (over 42 years) or even younger who have a disturbed hormonal profile (FSH>12).
• Women with a history of cancer.
• Women with implantation failures after conventional IVF.
• Women who are discouraged by the cost of conventional IVFs.

The benefits of Mini – IVF

• The risk of ovarian stimulation associated with high dosage of stimulation drugs is minimized.
• High quality eggs suitable for fertilization are developed
• The protocol is adapted to the needs of each woman
• Has similar success rates to conventional IVF
• The cost of drugs for Mini-IVF is significantly lower than the cost of conventional IVF drugs.

Gentle IVF protocols, such as Mini-IVF, are another scientific approach that infertile couples have for having a child. However, the choice of assisted reproduction method should be made after a thorough medical examination and discussion with the doctor in order to take into account all the factors and risks of side effects and decide together the best method, whether it is conventional IVF or Mini – IVF.