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Celebrating 40 years of IVF

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the first successful IVF baby, or test-tube baby as the news media called the newborn. According to the International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies, 8 million IVF babies have been born via IVF over the last forty years, and still more might be unaccounted for in China and India. It’s astounding to think how far IVF technology has come across four decades, especially as women delay having children and the need for a wide array of IVF procedures and services grows. While many of these babies were born through more traditional and conventional IVF, the field has become more and more specialized as technologies advance and as the field learns more about what makes a viable egg and sperm and which fertility drugs are most effective. Even more, Mini IVF (or Japanese IVF), which Hanabusa specializes in, developed in Japan twenty years ago and follows protocols used in Japan, relying on minimal stimulation, less drugs, lower costs and more comfort for patients. As we celebrate 40 years of IVF, it’s worth exploring Hanabusa’s approach to IVF and the benefits of Mini IVF below.

Key points of Mini / Japanese IVF:

  • Low medication stimulation protocols
  • Egg retrievals that avoid intravenous sedation or general anesthesia
  • Using the smallest needle possible to avoid bleeding complications and lowering discomfort after egg retrieval
  • Culturing embryos to blastocyst stage to reduce poor quality embryos, failed transfers, and miscarriages
  • Possible Embryo freezing if fresh transfer is not ideal
  • Vitrification (freezing technique created in Japan) to optimize embryo survival
  • Minimal/no medication during embryo transfer
  • Single embryo transfer to minimize risk associated with multiple implantations

And you can read more about the 40th anniversary of IVF here.