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Fertility Treatment With Less Medication Shows Promising Results

By Dr. Mallika Marshall, WBZ-TV
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Dr. Mallika Marshall, WBZ-TV Medical Reporter Dr. Mallika Marshall
Dr. Mallika Marshall is WBZ-TV News’ Medical Reporter and contributes...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Neeburbunn Lewis has a beautiful little girl thanks to IVF. But the fertility medications also caused serious complications that landed her in the hospital. When she and her husband wanted a second child she had second thoughts about trying IVF again. “Traditional IVF wasn’t an option for me, personally, because I did not want to risk going through overstimulation again.”

Freddi Baranoff found IVF emotionally and physically exhausting, “I absolutely did not want to do injectable fertility meds.”

So both women opted for a procedure some call Mini IVF. The procedure uses less medication to stimulate the production of eggs for fertilization.

“It’s not how many eggs you get. It’s not how many embryos. It’s if you have a baby,” says Dr. Michael Alper, medical director at Boston IVF. With Mini IVF doctors will likely have fewer eggs to work with but Dr. Alper says women are still having babies using minimal stimulation.

“For example, if a woman is what we call a ‘poor responder’ and despite high doses of medication only gets two eggs why use all that medication when in an actual cycle they’re producing one,” explains Dr. Alper.

In these cases using less potent drugs could still produce a good quality egg with less side effects and at a much lower price. “The Mini IVF was more gentle, more gentle on my body for sure. And not a huge financial burden compared to before,” says Lewis. Dr. Alper says the pills used in Mini IVF can costs pennies compared to the medication used for traditional IVF that typically costs thousands of dollars.

After just one round of Mini IVF Lewis is now expecting her second child.

Baranoff had success on her third try and she now has identical twin girls. “I think it is extremely important for women to know that there is another option out there for them,” says Baranoff.

Even with fewer eggs to fertilize one recent study found that Mini IVF success rates were a bit higher than traditional IVF in women over the age of 35.

MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON

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