Florida couples and individuals who have trouble conceiving a child understandably feel immense stress and frustration when trying to build their families. For some, assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), can be a godsend allowing them to experience the joys of pregnancy.
But IVF also typically creates another level of mental, physical and financial stressors. With traditional IVF, women take high amounts of fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation, and many side effects can result. IVF can also be financially taxing, as the lowest average cost per cycle is about $10,000. The lowest average price per cycle for mini IVF is almost half that amount.
What’s the difference?
Mini IVF is a gentler and potentially cheaper alternative. While high-dose injections stimulate egg growth in traditional IVF, mini IVF includes a combination of lower-dose injections and oral medications to stimulate the growth of eggs and adjust the menstrual cycle. Fertility experts say lower doses of medication are easier on women’s ovaries and usually cause fewer side effects.
As for what you can expect to pay, traditional IVF generally runs between $10,000 and $15,000 per cycle. But it can sometimes run as high as $25,000, according to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). The organization says each mini IVF cycle ranges between $5,000 and $15,000. The savings is usually realized through lower doses of medication, but the price tag depends on many factors.
Best candidates for mini IVF
Costs aside, women who face specific medical and physical conditions may benefit the most from mini IVF. This includes those with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which is caused by having too many hormones in the body. Those with OHSS often suffer from intense pain in their abdomen and ovaries. They can also experience severe diarrhea, nausea and bloating.
Others who can benefit are those with polycystic ovary syndrome. PCOS is a hormonal disorder causing small cysts in the ovaries, making it impossible for some women to ovulate. Mini IVF may also be the best option for those who can’t abide high-dose fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation. It may also benefit older women whose ovaries have lost their reproductive potential.