Alternative Mild Forms of IVF: Five Things You Need to Know

5th September 2018 in IVF

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

Mild IVF, Light IVF, Modified Natural Cycle – low stimulation forms of IVF are some of the newest trends in treatment, often marketed as a ‘safer’ or more gentle option for women who need help to conceive.

But these IVF alternatives are not suitable for everyone, and although they have some advantages, they are really only designed to be used in specific cases.

Here are five key things you need to know about low stimulation IVF methods:

What low stimulation really means

Low stimulation IVF is exactly the same as conventional IVF. The only thing that’s different is that lower doses of fertility medications are used to stimulate the ovaries. The rest of the treatment cycle works the same way.

Who it’s suitable for

Low stimulation forms of IVF are really only advised if standard IVF protocols have failed, or if you have extremely low ovarian reserve, which means you won’t respond well to standard medication doses as you don’t have many eggs to begin with. It may help if you wish to still try and conceive with your own eggs, before moving onto donor eggs.

Success rates

Success rates using low stimulation methods are very low, and it has high cycle cancellation rates typically because of poor response, no eggs collected, failed fertilisation or embryo development. You won’t have many eggs to fertilise, and resulting embryos to transfer, compared to conventional treatment. You are also very unlikely to get any embryos for freezing.


Low stimulation forms of IVF may be cheaper than conventional IVF but you may need lots of attempts to achieve pregnancy if it works at all, which can make it more expensive than conventional IVF which has higher success rates.

Medication safety

If you’re considering alternative forms of IVF simply because you’re concerned about using fertility drugs, at Manchester Fertility all fertility drug regimens are personalised and tailored to you, for safe stimulation that’s focused on the quality of eggs, not the quantity.

Want to know more? Explore Modified IVF

At Manchester Fertility we offer one form of alternative IVF, which is Modified Natural Cycle, but it’s offered to very few patients in specific circumstances only. We would only recommend it as an option if we think it gives you a good chance of success. Talk to our Patient Advisors to find out more on 0161 300 2737.

Last updated: 14th February 2019