In-Vitro Maturation (IVM) is a safe and effective fertility treatment provided in our clinic for assisted reproduction. In an IVM process, the immature oocytes are removed from the ovaries during a Natural Cycle and matured in the laboratory for 24-48 hours. This means that more eggs are available for freezing from each cycle. Retrieved mature eggs are then fertilized and then moved to the uterus.
What is In-Vitro Maturation (IVM)?
In vitro maturation (IVM) is when a woman’s eggs are collected and matured outside the body. This is done as part of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure.
IVM is fertility procedure that is very similar to the IVF treatment with some notable differences. In an IVM treatment, immature oocytes are retrieved from the ovaries and matured in the laboratory. There is no hormone stimulation required for most candidates as is the case with an IVF treatment.
This is an ideal therapy for patients who have a low level of tolerance for medication.
Who is In-Vitro Maturation (IVM) suitable for?
- In-Vitro Maturation is best suited for the following candidates
- Women who are at higher risk for ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), including women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Cancer patients who are unable to go through hormonal stimulation in IVF
- Younger women who can produce more than 15 egg follicles
- Women who have an acceptable level of AHM hormones
- Healthy women who are in the acceptable BMI range for their age and height
- IVM treatment is also suitable for egg donors in order to eliminate the number of injections involved in the ovarian stimulation protocol and theoretically reduce the risk of ovarian cancer
- IVM followed by embryo freezing, is the most effective option for women undergoing chemotherapy in order to preserve their fertility
Procedure of In-Vitro Maturation (IVM) Treatment
The IVM Process consists of the following steps:
- Transvaginal ultrasound is performed between day 3 and day 5 of the woman’s menstrual cycle. A second ultrasound is performed between day 6 and day 9 of the cycle in order to assess the endometrium and measure the size and number of growing follicles
- A Human Chorionic synthetic follicle stimulating hormone or HCG injection is given to the woman 36 hours prior to the immature oocyte retrieval. The immature eggs are usually extracted between days 9 and 14 of the cycle
- Specially Designed needles are used with the assistance of ultrasound guidance to help retrieve the eggs from the ovaries
- The immature eggs are then transferred to a maturation medium for a period of 24-48 hours
- Depending on the requirement the mature eggs are then either frozen and stored for use at a later date or transferred to be fertilized by sperm
- If the mature eggs are to be used immediately, they are fertilized using the intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedure
- 1 – 4 Fertilized eggs or embryos are then surgically transplanted into the prospective mother’s womb and within 2 weeks another check is done to see if the implantation is successful
- If successful the patient is moved to the care of her OBGYN, if unsuccessful the patient will have to go for another round of IVM treatment
Disadvantages of In-Vitro Maturation (IVM) Treatment
IVM does come with a fair share of its disadvantages. Since this procedure is relatively new the success rate of IVM procedures is not very well known. You can only opt for an IVM procedure from experts such as Spring Fertility because the immature eggs extracted from the ovaries are extremely fragile and need to be treated with the utmost of care. The best and latest is medicinal equipment has to be used in order to ensure the safe handling of the immature oocytes. Another downfall is that due to their extraction the egg walls become very tough which makes it hard for sperm to penetrate through. This implies that IVM treatment after freezing require you to opt for ICSI treatment for fertilization.