What is Minimal IVF
Compared with conventional IVF, the Minimal IVF procedure includes significantly fewer under-the-skin injections
Minimal IVF can be a great way to achieve your goal of having a baby while lowering treatment costs, the number of clinic visits, and the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation.
Compared with conventional In Vitro Fertilization, the Minimal IVF procedure includes significantly fewer under-the-skin injections to stimulate the development of a moderate number of high-quality eggs (quality over quantity). Our goal is to make your conception experience pleasant, relaxed, and as natural as possible.
The indications for Minimal IVF are similar to conventional In Vitro Fertilization indications:
- History of tubal blockage and pelvic adhesions.
- Male Factor Infertility.
- Infertility associated with endometriosis.
- Infertility associated with mild to moderate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- Unexplained infertility.
- Long-standing infertility (no contraception for more than a year and a half).
- A lack of pregnancy from intrauterine inseminations (IUI) or ovarian stimulation.
Minimal IVF Procedure
The Minimal IVF procedure consists of the following steps:
- Ovarian stimulation
- Egg retrieval procedure
- Fertilization of eggs
- Culture of embryos
- Assisted hatching of embryos (when indicated)
- Embryo transfer
1. Ovarian Stimulation
There are various forms of ovarian stimulation protocols, each with multiple modifications. Your treatment is always personalized to maximize the likelihood of success. The selection of the optimal protocol for your minimal IVF treatment is based on your reproductive history and your pre-treatment evaluation.
Below is an example of a Minimal IVF treatment cycle. Your individualized protocol may take less or more time to complete.
Lupron, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and a microdose of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) will stimulate the production of several eggs in the ovaries. They are given once a day subcutaneously with tiny needles for approximately ten days.
During this time, your progress is monitored by estradiol (estrogen, E2) and progesterone blood level(s) and ultrasound examination(s).
Ovarian stimulation should result in the development of a few eggs in each ovary. The ultrasound image below shows a stimulated ovary. Each of the several follicles (dark circles) contains a microscopic egg.
2. Egg Retrieval Procedure
The egg retrieval procedure is performed at our clinic. It only takes a few minutes, and we provide comfortable conscious sedation for analgesia.
Under ultrasound guidance, a thin needle is inserted through the top of the vagina into the cul-de-sac (space behind the uterus). The ovaries are located near the bottom of the cul-de-sac allowing the needle to access the ovarian follicles and aspirate the follicular fluid. The fluid is examined under a microscope to identify the eggs.
3. Fertilization of Eggs
On average, two to eight eggs are retrieved during the egg retrieval procedure. Once identified, the eggs are placed in petri dishes filled with culture medium. The composition of the culture medium resembles the fluid secreted by the Fallopian tubes, facilitating the development of eggs and embryos (fertilized eggs) in our laboratory environment, simulating the conditions in the Fallopian tubes.
On the day of egg retrieval, the male partner provides a semen specimen through masturbation. The highest quality sperm are extracted from the semen and combined with the eggs three hours after retrieval. This in vitro fertilization process takes place over several hours in the evening following egg retrieval.
If the male partner has never caused pregnancy or if his test results indicate significant male infertility, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is performed. In ICSI, a single sperm is directly injected into an egg, significantly increasing the probability of successful fertilization for selected patients.
4. Culture of Embryos
Fertilization is usually observed the day after insemination, approximately 16 hours later. A normally fertilized egg (zygote) will exhibit two pronuclei representing the genetic material from the egg and sperm. The fertilized eggs are transferred to a growth medium and continue to be cultured in our laboratory.
The following day, embryos should divide into 4 cells, and by the day after, they should reach 8 cells.
By the fifth to seventh day after the insemination, the embryos should develop into the blastocyst stage, consisting of 80 or more cells.
The picture below shows an advanced stage of blastocyst development. Notice the central fluid-filled cavity. The cells within the blastocyst have already differentiated into the inner cell mass (at seven o’clock) that will give rise to the fetus and the trophectoderm cells that will form the future placenta.
At this stage, the embryos are still microscopic, invisible to the naked eye.
5. Assisted Hatching
Assisted hatching is a laboratory procedure used to create a “weak spot” in the eggshell of an embryo. This technique is primarily employed for cryopreserved embryos, as it increases the likelihood of successful hatching, implantation, and, ultimately, a healthy baby.
This picture shows an embryo after assisted embryo hatching with an opening breaching the eggshell at the 12 o’clock position.
6. Embryo Transfer
The embryo transfer procedure typically occurs five days after egg retrieval, depending on the development of the embryos. Prior to the transfer, our embryologists assess the embryos to determine their chances of successful implantation. This assessment helps you decide whether to transfer one or two embryos.
Just before the embryo transfer, the embryo(s) is/are placed into the tip of a thin embryo transfer catheter. The catheter is then passed through the cervical canal, reaching within 15 mm of the top of the uterine cavity, where the embryos are gently released.
The embryo transfer itself usually takes only a few seconds to complete, and no rest is required afterward.
In cases where there are more embryos than the intended number for transfer, these embryos can be frozen and stored in liquid nitrogen. The implantation success rate of frozen embryos is equal to that of “fresh” embryos.
After the embryo transfer, the endometrial lining gently holds the embryo(s) within the upper part of the uterus. There are no restrictions on your physical activity during this period.
This picture shows a healthy blastocyst in the process of “squeezing out” of its eggshell. Once fully hatched, it will stay in the uterus unattached for one to two days and then implant.
The lining of the uterus becomes receptive to the embryos through the action of estrogen and progesterone hormones produced by the ovaries. Ovarian progesterone production is supplemented with vaginal progesterone capsules.
A blood pregnancy test is scheduled two weeks after the embryo transfer. If the test is positive, an ultrasound examination is scheduled two weeks later to visualize the implantation site and check for a heartbeat within the embryo. Once a heartbeat is detected, there is a 95% probability that the pregnancy will result in a live birth.
This ultrasound picture shows a six-week pregnancy. The pregnancy sac is 25 mm in diameter. The baby inside the sac is only 13 mm long. It is already possible to distinguish the baby’s head and body and to see the cardiac activity.
At this point, the pregnancy becomes indistinguishable from natural conception, and your obstetrical care should proceed as it would if you conceived without any treatment.
We look forward to meeting you at Bay IVF and, when your treatment is successful, celebrating your new pregnancy!
Years of Experience
Hear from Our Patients’ Journey to Parenthood at Bay IVF!
I would highly recommend Bay IVF for those wanting to build their family and needing IVF support! Dr. Polansky and the whole Bay IVF team were so supportive and welcoming while also honest and realistic. Our girl is our dream come true!Jennifer C.-F.
This clinic has been amazing to work with. All the nurses and staff made sure I was always comfortable and were there to answer questions any time I needed. We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Polansky and the team for everything they did for us.Harpreet K.
Words could never express the gratitude my husband and I will always have for Bay IVF! We did our research and decided to check out Bay IVF. We scheduled a consultation and felt an instant connection… love at first sight!Chelsea L.
Bay IVF Early Pregnancy Heartbeat
Meet Your Doctor
- Dr. Polansky received his medical diploma from Charles University in Prague, the Czech Republic, in 1978.
- After completing his OB/GYN residency at Jewish Hospital in Saint Louis, MO, he graduated from the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) fellowship at Stanford University in 1985.
- In the same year, he co-founded the Stanford IVF Clinic.
- Dr. Polansky obtained board certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1986 and became REI subspecialty board certified in 1988.
- In 1987, he left Stanford University and established Nova IVF.
- In 2011, he founded Bay IVF, where he provides advanced fertility treatments with a holistic approach, utilizing state-of-the-art techniques.
- Dr. Polansky personally performs ultrasound examinations, egg retrievals, embryo transfers, and ovarian and endometrial stimulations for his patients.
- He is deeply committed to his patients and freely shares his cell phone number, ensuring accessibility and availability 24/7.
Frank Polansky, M.D.
Dr. Polansky’s Communication With Patients
Real texts, anonymous patient names
Initial Appointment Questions
When you call to schedule your consultation, Erica will ask you a short series of questions regarding your reproductive history.
- Your name
- Your date of birth
- Your height
- Your weight
- Do you know which treatment you plan to have?
- How many times have you been pregnant?
- For each of your pregnancies, what was the conception date? (month and year)
- What was the outcome?
- Were the pregnancies with your current partner?
- If known, what is the cause of your infertility?
- What is your average cycle length? (number of days between onsets of your periods)
- Are you currently taking any medications? If yes, which ones?
- Are you allergic to any medications? If yes, which ones?
- Your partner’s name (if applicable)
- Your partner’s date of birth (if applicable)
- What is the length of your relationship with your current partner? (years and months)
- When was the last time either of you used any contraception?
- Is the male partner currently taking any medications? If yes, which ones?
- Is the male partner allergic to any medications? If yes, which ones?
- What is the total number of pregnancies the male partner has ever caused?
- Has the male partner ever caused a pregnancy without the ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) procedure?
- Has the male partner had a vasectomy or vasectomy reversal?
- If available, for each Semen Analysis, please give the date (day, month, and year), volume, concentration (sperm count), percentage of motile sperm, and percentage of morphologically normal sperm.
- Have you ever had any treatment for, or problems with, your lungs, heart, blood and blood vessels, breasts, digestive system, genito-urinary system, thyroid disease, diabetes, or neurological disorder? (female partner only)
- For each X-ray of your uterus and Fallopian tubes (hysterosalpingogram), laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, or laparotomy, please give the procedure date (day, month, and year) and the findings.
- If available, for each FSH, LH, estradiol (estrogen, E2), and AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) test you have had, please give the date of the test (day, month, and year) and the result.
- Have you done any intrauterine inseminations (IUI)? If yes, how many?
- Have you had ovarian stimulation with injectable medications?
- For each IVF treatment you have had, please provide the following information if available: Date (month and year), the dose of medications to stimulate your ovaries, your highest estrogen level, number of ovarian follicles that developed, number of eggs retrieved, whether ICSI was done, number of embryos available, number of embryos transferred, number of embryos frozen, and the treatment outcome.
- Have you ever smoked cigarettes? If yes, how many cigarettes a day during the last three months? (Please remember that you must not smoke during your treatment.)
This is Erica
Erica works at the front desk. She will be supporting you throughout your treatment journey at Bay IVF.
Patients’ Thank You Cards
Your Initial Visit at Bay IVF
Attending a new patient appointment at a fertility clinic can be stressful. Our primary objective is to ensure that your initial visit is friendly and relaxing. We encourage you to ask questions at every step of the process.
1 — When You Arrive
You will be welcomed by one of the clinic receptionists. One of our nurses will measure your height and weight and take your blood pressure
2 — Meet Your Doctor
Dr. Polansky will ask you a series of clarifying questions and then provide you with a summary of the factors contributing to your infertility
4 — Exam Room
One of the nurses will escort you to an examination room. Your examination will begin with listening to your lungs and heart
3 — Ask Your Questions
You will then have a discussion with him about the most suitable reproductive treatment(s) for you. During this time, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have
5 — Ultrasound of the Ovaries
The next step is a pelvic ultrasound to examine the uterus and ovaries. This ultrasound will help determine the number of antral follicles present within the ovaries
6 — Financial Part
Following that, you will have a discussion with one of the financial advisors regarding the financial aspects of your treatment, including potential treatment financing options
8 — Support 24/7
If you have any questions after leaving the clinic, please feel free to reach out to us via phone call, text, or email. Open and discreet communication is an integral part of the care we provide at Bay IVF
7 — What About Time?
Your entire visit is expected to last approximately one hour
Schedule Your Initial Consultation With Dr. Polansky
Online or In-Person
Call or Text Us: 650-322-0500You can also complete the form below to request your initial consultation
Still Have Questions?
We understand that this is a significant decision, and it is important to us that you feel truly comfortable