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Mini IVF: Ultra-light stimulation

In vitro fertilisation - Artificial insemination

Hormonal stimulation is standard at the beginning of artificial insemination to promote the maturation of the required eggs.


But not every patient is open to hormone therapy. Some fear overstimulation or side effects. Others shy away from the high cost of the medication, the injections, or a possible multiple pregnancy, which becomes more likely with the maturation of multiple eggs during hormone stimulation.


Mini IVF - also known as ultra-light stimulation - offers patients a new, minimally dosed form of hormone stimulation. We offer mini-IVF in our TFP fertility clinics in certain cases, for example if patients respond poorly to normal hormone stimulation or if they want to freeze eggs in advance.


What is ultra-light stimulation?


Low-dose hormone stimulation was first tested by Professor Kato in Tokyo and further developed by Dr John Zhang at the New Hope Fertility Center in New York, among others. The differences compared to conventional hormone treatment lie in the hormone dose and the form of administration: instead of daily hormone injections, low-dose hormone tablets are taken with mini-IVF.


This means that instead of 15-20 eggs, only 4-8 eggs mature in the ovaries. It is astonishing that the yield of "good eggs" that can actually be used for IVF or ICSI is almost as high with ultra-light stimulation as with stimulation with high doses of hormones.


The advantages of Mini IVF


  • Through mini IVF, one can avoid a possible hyperstimulation syndrome


  • Zero, or only a few injections, are needed


  • The expenses for the medication/drugs are very low


  • The procedure of stimulation is extremely simple


  • Only a maximum of four to eight ovarian follicles develop, and the egg cells contained in them are normally of a high quality


  • The so-called “artificial menopause injection” or “down regulation” is not necessary


  • A premature ovulation practically never occurs using mini IVF


  • The side-effects are exceptionally low.


Immunological examination and immunotherapy in the fertility clinic


In our fertility clinics we recommend an immunological examination, for example, if:

  • Patients have suffered repeated miscarriages in the past

  • Repeated IVF attempts have not been successful despite good embryonic quality

  • There is no pregnancy despite good fertility of both partners.

During the examination, a tissue sample is first taken from the uterus in the second half of the cycle. One of our long-term partner laboratories examines the sample to check the number of natural killer cells in the uterus. If it turns out that an undesired immune reaction is the cause of the lack of pregnancy, we draw up the plan for a suitable immunotherapy. There are several treatment options to choose from:

  • Colony-stimulating growth factors are injected directly under the skin and help to regulate the activity of the immune cells. In this way, they improve the immune status of the female organism in favour of the embryo.

  • The culture medium EmbryoGen© is used in artificial insemination. It contains the growth factor GM-CSF, which creates a natural physiological environment in the IVF culture medium and improves the conditions for embryo transfer.

  • Drug therapy: The administration of drugs such as Neupogen©, Granozyte© or Nivestim© are intended to stimulate the multiplication of the female immune cells.


Mini IVF - experience and risks


Our Mini IVF experience shows that the low hormone doses of ultra-light stimulation lead to an insufficient build-up of the uterine lining in some women. This reduces the pregnancy rate, because although sufficient high-quality eggs mature for fertilisation, they are unable to implant in the uterus. We can avoid this undesirable side effect in our TFP fertility clinics by cryopreserving eggs obtained with mini-IVF and using them for IVF at a later date (see also cryopreservation).


Our team of experts will inform you about the procedure, the costs and the chances of success of ultra-light stimulation in your individual case.


Contact the clinic of your choice now - we look forward to hearing from you!


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