Arizona Reproductive Medicine Specialists’ (ARMS) primary approach to stimulating the ovaries for in vitro fertilization (IVF) is to give as much medication as necessary to get as many eggs as is safely possible. This approach has the greatest chance of giving people many embryos to choose from and more chances to try. Unfortunately, this approach can result in a medication cost that can be prohibitive for some patients.
As a result, instead of getting multiple chances to have a baby, they get no chance. Having just one approach just does not make sense for everybody. In response to this, ARMS has developed “Gentle IVF.”
Gentle IVF is a medication protocol that reduces the amount and types of medication given based on the latest research to provide a significant but not maximal stimulation. The result is almost a 50 percent reduction in the cost of medications. This treatment option, combined with the maximum financial aid from our partnership with EMD Serono’s Compassionate Care Program, can result in a medication cost of less than $600.
This approach is not for everybody, but for many women, it will give them the eggs they need to access at least one or two optimal attempts at a pregnancy.
How many eggs?
The number of eggs is important. If you get a reasonable number of eggs, you have a good chance of getting pregnant. Studies have shown that medication protocols similar to Gentle IVF in normal responders can produce 10.9 eggs on average. This number of quality eggs will give you an excellent chance at a pregnancy without the costs associated with a traditional stimulation.
In order for this to be a good option for you, we would want to know that you have a normal supply of eggs. There are tests that we will do before your stimulation to see if your egg supply is normal.
Which protocol is right for you?
If cost is not a serious concern, then a traditional stimulation will give you the greatest number of eggs for the associated cost. Having embryos frozen for multiple attempts gives you the greatest chance for success. The medication cost of a traditional stimulation in a normally responding patient will usually be under $3,000. If you can afford this, then do it. If you can’t, a Gentle IVF protocol will usually be under $1,500 before any discounts from the pharmacy.