(HealthDay News) — Minimal stimulation in vitro fertilization (mini-IVF) is associated with reduced live birth rates compared with conventional IVF, according to a study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

John J. Zhang, MD, PhD, from the New Hope Fertility Center in New York City, and colleagues performed a randomized noninferiority controlled trial, with a prespecified 10% border, comparing 1 cycle of mini-IVF with single embryo transfer with 1 cycle of conventional IVF with double embryo transfer. 

A total of 564 couples (women aged younger than 39) who were undergoing their first IVF cycle were randomly assigned to mini-IVF (285 couples) or conventional IVF (279 couples).

The researchers found that the cumulative live birth rates were 49% and 63% for mini-IVF and conventional IVF, respectively (relative risk, 0.76). Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome did not occur after mini-IVF, compared with 5.7% of cases after conventional IVF. The multiple pregnancy rates were 6.4% and 32%, respectively, in mini-IVF and conventional IVF (relative risk, 0.25). Compared with conventional IVF, gonadotropin use was significantly lower with mini-IVF (P<.0001).

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“How these different dimensions are weighed by couples who are deciding between mini-IVF or conventional IVF and whether the lower live birth rate could be offset by a series of ‘lower cost’ mini-IVF cycles should be the subject of future studies,” the researchers wrote.


  1. Zhang JJ, Merhi Z, Yang M, et al. Minimal stimulation IVF vs conventional IVF: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016;214(1):96.e1-8.