Monday, 16 July 2012

And some more terms to confuse me - Mild IVF / Mini IVF

As I mentally prepare myself for another IVF; I have been getting very confused also. As has been my habit, before starting anything new I try to do as much research as I can on the subject. Hence I keep doing more and more research on IVF; search the internet, talk to doctors, discuss on various forums, speak to females who have undergone IVF.
During one such interaction with a doctor I got to know that there are different protocols that a doctor may follow for you.

One such newer IVF protocol is "mini-IVF" or "Mild-IVF" or "Kato protocol". 

And I think to myself what more new terms will I keep hearing! As it is a struggle to gauge what all terms I keep hearing everytime I start my research on IVF!

So I was told about Mild IVF and was told that it is mostly used for females who have low ovarian reserve. Here is all that I have understood of the protocol (in lay-man terms)

Why is it mostly used for females with low ovarian reserve: The ovarian stimulating drugs given during IVF procedure will not increase the capacity of one's ovaries to produce more eggs. Hence if you have low reserve, it is a very very remote possibility that during IVF cycle you will get many (i.e. 10-18) eggs. Hence the high dosage of stimulating medicines is not going to make you a high reserve female! The medicine tries to stimulate the ovaries so that they are functioning to their best possible result, and for a low-reserve case, a low dosage of the stimulating drugs will produce fewer eggs but good quality eggs. So here the aim is at getting quality and not quantity. And this is closer to natural cycle (where ovaries produce avg 1-2 mature-good quality eggs during each cycle)

What I was also told that when a female starts fertility treatment, mild IVF is not the first option to be tried. In the first cycle it is best to go with conventional IVF protocol to try and get as many eggs as possible. This increases your chance of getting multiple good quality embryo and a better possibility of a pregnancy.

However, if you have tried more than one cycles of IVF and you have low ovarian reserve; mild IVF is one of the options to be definitely tried.

Benefit of mild IVF: Low dosage of medicine is given and for lesser number of days. So mild IVF is not as costly as  conventional IVF procedure. It is considered safer as it uses less medications and hence fewer side effects.

I could not find lot of literature on this on the internet and couple of the doctors I spoke with said that there is still not enough evidence of success using mild IVF. It however is gaining interest. There is a group of doctors who are definitely using this protocol and have published success stories using mild IVF. Many of the doctors have started to suggest mild IVF in India also.


  1. My doctor is suggesting mild IVF for me as I have low AFC and earlier attempts of IVF have not resulted in any good outcome. She is not sure of good success rate of this so I am still doubtful if I should try this or usual IVF procedure.
    Did you try mild IVF?

  2. Hi,
    I have not yet tried mild IVF. I also have low reserve like you. My doctor has recommended it for me. I am planning to go for it after my next cycle. This month we have taken a break from trying.