As the name suggests, IVF Lite or mini IVF involves a milder stimulation protocol with lesser dosage of gonadotropin injections compared to a conventional IVF cycle. It is aimed to retrieve only few eggs in each cycle. IVF lite is usually combined with embryo freezing in order to accumulate sufficient number of embryos especially in women with poor ovarian reserve. Such mild stimulation leads to production of better quality eggs and therefore better embryos. As lesser dose of drugs is used IVF lite goes easy on your ovaries and also on your finances.
Instead of the high doses of fertility injections used in conventional IVF cycles, IVF lite involves use of oral Clomiphene Citrate tablets and low dose of fertility injections (Gonadotropins and GnRH Antagonists). Egg retrieval is planned as in conventional IVF cycles, 34-36 hours after the hCG trigger, once the leading follicle reaches 17-18mm. All retrieved eggs are fertilised and the embryos thus formed are frozen by vitrification.
A thaw embryo transfer cycle is subsequently planned in a remote cycle. Endometrium is usually prepared using oral estrogen. the embryos frozen earlier are thawed and transferred to the prepared emdometrium.
Who are ideal candidates for IVF Lite?
Patients with any 1 or 2 of the below mentioned criteria would benefit from Mini IVF.
- Women with advance age – 38 yrs or above.
- Women with poor ovarian reserve.
- Poor egg quality.
- Multiple IVF failures.
- Poor responders who do not form adequate number of eggs.
- Young women with polycystic ovaries.
Advantages of IVF lite over Conventional IVF
- Few injections needed- improved patient compliance
- easy on finances- less dose and lesser injections needed.
- Less number of visits to the clinic so there is very little interference with work schedules and other regular commitments.
- High quality eggs and more number of euploid embryos, even though few in number.
- More physiological
- Lowers risk of hyper-stimulation (in polycystic ovaries).
- Success rates comparable to conventional IVF especially in older women, women with previous conventional IVF failures, poor responders or hyper responders.
Disadvantages of IVF Lite
- As in IVF Lite fewer eggs are formed per cycle, there may be a need for multiple cycles in order to accumulate optimum number of eggs / embryos.
- IVF Lite can occasionally result in poor or no response at all, necessitating cycle cancellation.
- A well-equipped laboratory capable of successfully vitrifying and thawing eggs is absolutely mandatory for this form of IVF.