Difference Between Mild IVF vs Conventional IVF

by | Sep 27, 2023 | IVF

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What is Mild IVF?

Mild IVF, short for Mild In Vitro Fertilization, is a more patient-friendly and cost-effective alternative to Conventional IVF. Unlike its counterpart, Mild IVF employs a gentler ovarian stimulation protocol with lower doses of fertility medications. This results in the production of fewer eggs during each cycle, minimizing the risk of hyperstimulation and reducing the financial burden associated with high medication costs.


What is Conventional IVF?

Conventional IVF, on the other hand, follows a traditional approach that involves aggressive ovarian stimulation using higher doses of fertility drugs. The goal is to retrieve multiple eggs in one cycle, increasing the chances of obtaining viable embryos for transfer. However, this method is often associated with higher costs, more intense hormonal fluctuations, and a greater risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).


Who Should Consider Mild IVF?

Mild IVF is an attractive option for individuals or couples facing specific circumstances:

  1. Low Ovarian Reserve: Patients with diminished ovarian reserve, who may not respond well to aggressive stimulation, can benefit from Mild IVF as it works with the body’s natural capacity.
  2. Reduced Risk Tolerance: Those who are averse to the side effects and financial burden of conventional IVF, including OHSS and medication costs, may find Mild IVF more appealing.
  3. Advanced Age: Women in their late 30s or early 40s, where the quantity and quality of eggs decline, might opt for Mild IVF to minimize potential risks and costs.
  4. Previous Failed Cycles: Individuals who have experienced unsuccessful Conventional IVF cycles may seek an alternative like Mild IVF to reduce stress and side effects.
  5. Ethical or Personal Preferences: Patients who have ethical concerns about producing excessive embryos or those who prefer a more natural and less invasive approach may lean towards Mild IVF.


Who Should Consider Conventional IVF?

Conventional IVF is better suited for patients in certain situations:

  1. High Ovarian Reserve: Individuals with a healthy ovarian reserve may opt for Conventional IVF to maximize their chances of producing a larger number of embryos for selection.
  2. Stringent Timeline: Those who need to expedite the fertility process due to age or other time-sensitive factors may choose Conventional IVF to maximize their chances in a shorter timeframe.
  3. Multiple Failed Cycles: Patients who have experienced multiple failed attempts with Mild IVF or other methods might turn to Conventional IVF for a more aggressive approach.
  4. Preservation of Embryos: When individuals desire to create and freeze surplus embryos for future use, Conventional IVF is preferred for its ability to yield a greater number of embryos.
  5. Insurance Coverage: Patients with comprehensive insurance coverage that includes fertility medications and procedures may be less concerned about the cost differential and may prefer Conventional IVF for its potentially higher success rates.


Process of Mild IVF vs. Conventional IVF

Mild IVF Process

  1. Ovarian Stimulation: Mild IVF starts with a milder regimen of fertility medications, typically utilizing oral or low-dose injectable medications.
  2. Egg Retrieval: Once the follicles have matured, a minor surgical procedure retrieves a smaller number of eggs, usually fewer than in Conventional IVF.
  3. Fertilization: These eggs are then fertilized in the laboratory, often through intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
  4. Embryo Transfer: After fertilization, one or two embryos are selected and transferred to the uterus, minimizing the risk of multiple pregnancies.
  5. Luteal Phase Support: Hormonal support in the form of progesterone supplements helps prepare the uterine lining for embryo implantation.


Conventional IVF Process

  1. Ovarian Stimulation: Conventional IVF employs higher doses of fertility medications, typically administered via injections, to stimulate the ovaries for maximal egg production.
  2. Egg Retrieval: A more extensive surgical procedure retrieves a larger number of eggs, increasing the potential for multiple embryos.
  3. Fertilization: The retrieved eggs are combined with sperm in the laboratory, and fertilization is monitored closely.
  4. Embryo Culture: The embryos are cultured for several days to select the healthiest ones for transfer.
  5. Embryo Transfer: One or more embryos are transferred to the uterus, often leading to a higher risk of multiple pregnancies.
  6. Freezing of Surplus Embryos: Any additional embryos can be frozen for future use.


Benefits of Mild IVF vs. Conventional IVF

Mild IVF

  1. Reduced Medication Burden: Mild IVF involves using lower doses of fertility medications compared to Conventional IVF. This means fewer injections and potentially milder side effects.
  2. Lower Cost: With fewer medications and reduced monitoring, Mild IVF is often more cost-effective, making it an attractive option for those with budget constraints.
  3. Lower Risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS): The gentler ovarian stimulation in Mild IVF minimizes the risk of OHSS, a potentially severe and painful complication.
  4. Shorter Treatment Duration: Mild IVF cycles are usually shorter, reducing the emotional and physical stress associated with fertility treatments.
  5. Suitable for Certain Patients: Mild IVF is a viable choice for individuals with low ovarian reserve, advanced age, or those who prefer a more patient-friendly approach.

Conventional IVF

  1. Higher Success Rates: Conventional IVF often yields more eggs, increasing the chances of obtaining multiple viable embryos for transfer, thus potentially enhancing success rates.
  2. Suitable for Specific Situations: Patients with high ovarian reserve or those who require time-sensitive treatments may opt for Conventional IVF to maximize their chances.
  3. Embryo Banking: Conventional IVF is conducive to creating surplus embryos for freezing, allowing for multiple attempts without the need for repeated stimulation.


Risks of Mild IVF vs. Conventional IVF

Mild IVF

  1. Fewer Eggs: The gentle stimulation in Mild IVF usually results in fewer eggs retrieved, potentially limiting the number of embryos available for transfer or freezing.
  2. Lower Success Rates: Due to the reduced number of eggs, Mild IVF may have slightly lower success rates compared to Conventional IVF, especially in patients with specific fertility issues.

Conventional IVF

  1. Higher Medication Use: Conventional IVF requires higher doses of fertility medications, which can lead to more intense side effects, such as mood swings, bloating, and discomfort.
  2. OHSS Risk: The aggressive ovarian stimulation in Conventional IVF increases the risk of OHSS, a condition that can be severe and necessitate hospitalization.
  3. Increased Cost: Conventional IVF is typically more expensive due to the higher medication costs and longer treatment duration.


Success Rate of Mild IVF vs. Conventional IVF in India

Success rates can vary widely based on individual patient factors and the expertise of the fertility clinic. In India, success rates for both Mild IVF and Conventional IVF can be influenced by factors like age, underlying fertility issues, and the quality of the fertility clinic. However, some general trends can be observed:

  • Mild IVF: While success rates for Mild IVF may be slightly lower compared to Conventional IVF, they can still be promising for patients with specific needs. Success rates often range from 15% to 30% per cycle.
  • Conventional IVF: Conventional IVF tends to have higher success rates in India, ranging from 25% to 40% per cycle. This is due to the potential for a larger number of embryos to choose from.

It’s crucial to discuss your individual circumstances with a fertility specialist to get a more accurate estimate of your chances of success with either approach.


Cost of Mild IVF vs. Conventional IVF in India

The cost of fertility treatments, including IVF, can vary widely depending on the clinic, location, and specific treatment protocols. In general, Mild IVF tends to be more cost-effective than Conventional IVF in India:

  • Mild IVF: The cost of a Mild IVF cycle in India typically ranges from INR 70,000 to INR 150,000, making it a more budget-friendly option.
  • Conventional IVF: Conventional IVF is usually more expensive, with costs ranging from INR 100,000 to INR 300,000 or more per cycle. The higher cost is primarily attributed to the increased medication use and longer treatment duration.

Additionally, patients should consider other expenses such as medications, diagnostic tests, and potential additional cycles when evaluating the overall cost of fertility treatments.

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    Dr Mona Dahiya

    Dr Mona Dahiya

    IVF Specialist & Consultant

    Dr Mona Dahiya has performed over 5,000+ IVF cycles and is considered a global expert in IVF, ICSI, IUI and male fertility treatment. She is an eminent writer on Infertility Treatment and has over 100 Publications in both International and National Journals. Dr Mona Dahiya has immensely contributed to the field of infertility through her Research and articles.

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