What is Low-stim IVF?

Low-stim IVF is another term for minimal stimulation IVF and is offered at our fertility clinic in Manhattan. The doctors at Sher Fertility Institute New York discuss the procedure as well as the pros and cons of minimal stimulation IVF treatments.

Low-stim IVF involves ovarian stimulation with lower doses of medication. This IVF procedure can be considered safer, with fewer side effects, and some believe it has comparable success to conventional stimulation. Conventional IVF typically uses moderate to high amounts of injectable gonadotropins. Patients may choose to try low-stim IVF first as it comes with a lower cost than traditional IVF.  However, since we are using medications such as clomid or letrozole (oral) and a lower dose of injectable gonadotropins, a smaller number of eggs are retrieved which can lower success rates. It is best to find out from your fertility doctor if you are a candidate for minimal stimulation IVF.

Advantages of Low-stim IVF, or low-dose stimulation with clomid or letrozole and small dose gonadotropins:

  • May reduce stress on the ovaries, decreasing the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
  • Women who don’t respond to conventional stimulation may find success with minimal stimulation IVF.
  • Peace of mind for women concerned about the side effects from higher doses of stimulation and medication.

Disadvantages of Low-stim IVF:

  • Side effects could may include thinning of the endometrial (uterine) lining. The thinning will cause the uterus to be less optimal for implantation, so we may freeze the embryos while the lining heals and implant later, once the body has recovered.
  • While the cost of a minimal stimulation IVF cycle is lower than a traditional IVF cycle, if the low-stim procedure doesn’t work on the first try, you will be paying more for another cycle.
  • Depending on how many cycles are required to successfully conceive, the cost of Low-stim may end up being higher than a conventional IVF cycle.

To learn more about Low-stim IVF, contact our fertility specialists at Sher Fertility Institute in New York City.