What is Mini-IVF?
Mini-IVF or micro in vitro fertilization is a milder assisted reproduction treatment than in vitro fertilization. The patient receives fewer injections and the dose of hormones is lower. The goal is to get between three and five high-quality oocytes to be able to fertilise them in the laboratory and transfer them to the uterus. It requires anesthesia during some steps of the procedure.
Why is Mini-IVF performed?
Mini-IVF is indicated only for women who have the following prognosis:
- under 35 years of age
- good ovarian reserve of good quality
- high responsiveness to ovarian stimulation in previous cycles of IVF or artificial insemination
- a risk of suffering ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
What happens during Mini-IVF?
The steps followed are the same as in the conventional treatment of in vitro fertilization, although distinguished by the first step:
- Controlled ovarian stimulation: the woman receives a hormonal treatment with medication. It differs from conventional treatment by using fewer medications, starting stimulation later and slowly increasing the number of follicles that develop.
- Ovarian or follicular puncture: this is a surgical procedure that consists of extracting the mature ovules from the ovary. The process is carried out by aspiration under anesthesia and sedation and lasts between 20 and 30 minutes.
- Collection and preparation of semen: this consists of collecting the male sample and passing it through a process of sperm training so that the sperm are able to fertilize the ovule and produce an embryo.
- Fertilization: this consists of fusing the ovum with the sperm, either by conventional IVF (by themselves) or by ICSI (microinjection).
Preparing for Mini-IVF
The following can help you prepare for a Mini-IVF treatment, as well as any other in vitro fertilization treatment:
- Nutrition: it is important to take folic acid and vitamin B, since they increase the chances of pregnancy. Therefore, it is recommended to eat fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, dairy products and meat, and avoid fast food, foods with a high content of trans fats and sugars and low in vitamins and minerals.
- Exercise: it’s important to keep exercising, but not to overexert yourself during this period
- Sleep: make sure you get eight hours of sleep a day and that you go to bed and get up at regular times
Not everyone is suitable for mini-IVF treatment. For example, if you want to freeze your eggs, or an egg donor is donating eggs, you will need more fertility drugs than what mini-IVF provides. If you need a large amount of eggs, mini-IVF is not appropriate.
If you and your partner are having fertility problems due to the quality of sperm, a fertility treatment known as ICSI may me more suitable.