A Milder Form of IVF
Multiple pregnancy has been the scourge of IVF for the past 30 years, and even today as many as one in five of all IVF pregnancies in Britain are twin. Given the risks of prematurity and low birth weight from multiple conceptions, there has been a determined effort across the world to reduce the risks; in the UK the aim is for a twin rate of 10%.
Some women having IVF, especially those under 35 and having a first cycle of treatment, usually have a good prognosis for success and may well be suited to a milder form of treatment which transfers only one embryo in the first cycle and keeps drug doses to a minimum. This approach at the London Women's Clinic is known as IVF Lite. Studies from some of the world’s leading IVF groups show that a package of mild IVF can reduce the multiple pregnancy rate and also cut the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation.
The other key to our IVF Lite package is embryo freezing. The programme aims to get as many good quality embryos as possible, but will only transfer one in the first cycle. The rest will be frozen for later transfers if the first is not successful. The London Women's Clinic is using the very latest freezing technology, known as vitrification, which reduces embryos to a glass-like state in just a few seconds; survival rates are excellent.
Patient Friendly IVF
So IVF Lite will mean a simpler treatment schedule, a lower drug dose, a good outcome (based on one fresh and additional frozen transfers) and fewer risks (from multiple pregnancy and over-stimulation).
But IVF Lite might mean even more than that. Studies have shown that treatment times with a mild approach are shorter, drug doses lower, and fewer patients drop out of treatment. And psychologically – because stress levels were also tested – patients seem to be happier with the treatment programme. By all accounts, this is patient-friendly IVF.
And that’s what our IVF Lite programme is at the London Women’s Clinic. A low-dose, single embryo transfer, which avoids the risk of twins and counts on the delivery of a healthy single baby.