Mild stimulation (sometimes known as minimal stimulation) was first introduced in order to overcome some of the potential downsides of traditional IVF.
These possible problems include health risks to the women and possibly to the chance of success. The most important medical complication with traditional IVF is of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This is the overproduction of follicles and eggs resulting in fluid shifts within the body.Approximately 2-5% of women undergoing treatment will have moderately uncomfortable symptoms with 1% requiring hospital admission. Mild stimulation can be used along side ICISI, and embryos created by mild stimulation can be cryopreserved (frozen) as normal.
For many women the main concern is the effect of the high dose medication on egg quality and womb lining (endometrium).
The aim of mild stimulation is to encourage fewer eggs to develop, theoretically affecting the quality of the eggs less by not forcing development with high drug dosages. The additional benefit is more normal (physiological) levels of estrogen. The hormone estrogen encourages the endometrium to grow. We know that very high levels of estrogen can be detrimental to implantation of the embryo.
Additional benefits of mild stimulation are decreased costs (lower amount of drugs). Mild stimulation will produce fewer eggs than traditional IVF, and this is often a very difficult concept to accept- with egg numbers normally between two and seven with the treatment aim being of quality over quantity. The length of treatment is also shorter than conventional IVF and because mild stimulation used lower doses of medication it is possible to do back to back months of egg collections.
Fertility consultations including discussion of mild stimulation can be arranged via contacting my PA, Ms Yvonne Baillie on 0207 125 0547 or email her here