Minimal-stimulation IVF is an alternative procedure available to patients looking for a way to avoid using high doses of stimulation medicines for a variety of reasons (cost, fear of needles, high risk of OHSS, etc.). Minimal stimulation protocols attempt to reduce the financial and physiologic impact on the patient by using medicines that are inexpensive, or by using very low doses of the expensive medicines. Your physician will prescribe the use of oral medications or a mixture of oral medication and low doses of injectable fertility medication.
In minimal-stimulation IVF, patients will commonly develop only one or two follicles, making it possible to undergo egg retrieval using only local anesthesia (thus avoiding the general anesthesia or intravenous sedation required for most conventional IVF procedures). Since few eggs are stimulated, minimal-stimulation IVF generates fewer embryos than conventional IVF, making it unnecessary to consider embryo disposal or cryopreservation of unused embryos. Your physician can help you determine if minimal-stimulation is the appropriate course of treatment for you.