PGD - Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis MVR - Microscopic Vasectomy Reversal ART Pregnancy Rates Sheet IVF - In Vitro Fertilization ICSI - Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection Tubal Ligation Reversal Vasectomy Reversal vs. Sperm Injection: Dr. Silber’s Analysis Sperm, Embryo, and Ovarian Tissue Freezing and Storage Understanding Infertility Treatment Statistics Video:  Dr. Silber explains Assisted Reproductive Technology "How To Get Pregnant" - Dr. Silber's book "What’s New in Infertility" - Commentary by Dr. Silber Sperm Aspiration for ICSI Blastocyst Culture Video and Audio Library GIFT - Gamete Intra Fallopian Transfer Video:  Dr. Silber explains Microscopic Vasectomy Reversal Bibliography of Dr. Silber Biography of Dr. Silber Radio:  The biological clock discussed with Joan Hamburg TV:  Ovarian tissue transplantation on Montel Williams Preserving Your Fertility TV:  Antral Follicle Count (egg counting) TV:  Freezing the Biological Clock TV:  How to Find Out Where You Are On Your Biological Clock TV:  Dr. Silber Honors His Early Teacher on NBC News Today Show Dr. Silber explains egg and ovary banking to preserve fertility Whole Ovary Transplant Between Non-identical Sisters - Channel 11 St. Louis News Video Clip Whole Ovary Transplant Between Non-identical Sisters - Fox News St. Louis Video Clip Mini-IVF - Fox News St. Louis Video Clip
The Infertility Center of St. Louis

In the News  "Ask The Doctor" - Health & Harmony Spring/Summer 2007

Ask The Doctor

By Sherman Silber, MD, St. Luke's Infertility Specialist
Health & Harmony
Spring/Summer, 2007

Health & Harmony coverSherman Silber, MD, Director of the Infertility Center of St. Louis at St. Luke’s Hospital

Sherman Silber, MD, Director of the
Infertility Center of St. Louis
at St. Luke’s Hospital

Mini-IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)

Q. Explain the new, low cost innovative fertility treatment known as mini-IVF.

A. Mini-IVF is a new approach to IVF, which was developed in Japan as part of the Kato Clinic-St. Luke's Collaborative Program. "Mini-IVF" avoids many of the common complaints that patients have about conventional IVF. It costs much less, and avoids the complications of hyperstimulation and excess hormones.

Unlike conventional IVF, mini-IVF is designed to retrieve only a few, high quality eggs instead of large numbers of mediocre ones. As a result, the procedure completely eliminates the risk of hyperstimulation syndrome, in which a fluid imbalance causes dehydration due to body fluids that collect in the abdomen. In addition, the cost of the drugs is reduced from $7,000 to about $700. There are very few injections and it does not require painful progesterone injections.

With mini-IVF, the patient starts on a low dose of Clomid, a drug used to stimulate ovulation, on day three of her menstrual cycle and continues taking the Clomid until ultrasound monitoring shows she is ready to ovulate. Continuing on Clomid reduces the chance of premature ovulation while allowing for the development of high quality eggs for IVF.

Although Clomid results in very high quality eggs, it can inhibit development of the uterine lining, making the embryos less likely to implant. This can be solved, however, by employing a remarkable, new method of embryo freezing called vitrification (also developed by the Kato Clinic-St. Luke's Collaboration). This method is safe because the frozen embryos suffer no damage from this type of freezing, and they have the same success as fresh, unfrozen embryos. The frozen embryos are then transferred into the uterus during a subsequent natural cycle without the need for taking any hormones at all.

Also, whether using minimal stimulation, or conventional stimulation of the ovaries, vitrification [see technical video] of the embryos is so effective that it allows the transfer of only one embryo at a time. This eliminates the risk of dangerous multiple pregnancies such as triplets or quadruplets which carry a greater risk to both mother and child.

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