What is In Vitro Maturation of eggs (IVM )?

Learn about in vitro maturation, IVM for short, and how it is different from IVF.

shutterstock_85786168

IVM, in vitro maturation , is a technology that helps infertile couple to have children. In this treatment, immature eggs are retrieved from the ovary and are then matured in the laboratory. Once they are fully developed, IVF or ICSI is then performed to assist in fertilising these eggs.

Who should have in vitro maturation (IVM)?

  • Women less than 35 years old
  • Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Women with a history of hyperstimulation on fertility medications
  • Women with a history of poor oocyte (egg) quality
  • Women planning to have chemotherapy

Benefits of in vitro maturation

  • It is more natural because it requires no hormone injections as with the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), IVF or ICSI technologies.
  • IVM is a minimally invasive surgery (MIS) which means less pain for the patients.
  • The entire process takes shorter period than that required by the IVF technique. Women basically turn up and have the egg collection carried out.
  • It can also be repeated in a very short period if the first try does not work out. The patient does not need to wait for a long time like in IVF technology.
  • IVM is less costly too. Generally it is 30% lower than IVF.

fertilization IVF

Disadvantages of in vitro maturation

  • Lower success rate compared to IVF. Maximum success rate for IVM is 30-35% while IVF’s success rate is 40%.
  • The eggs collected via IVM are extremely sensitive, they need to be handled very carefully in the lab or risk losing them.
  • Long term effects using immature eggs and maturing them in a laboratory is unknown, but researchers believe no long term health concerns is eminent.

WATCH: The difference between in vitro maturation (IVM) and in vitro fertilization (IVF), risks and side effects