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.
When a woman undergoes IVF, she usually takes medicine to cause more than 1 egg to mature at the same time. These eggs are collected before they are released from the ovary, and are then paced with sperm in the laboratory in hopes of fertilization. In some cases, some or all of the oocytes (eggs) that are collected are not mature and ready to be fertilized. Advances in science have allowed embryologists to take these immature eggs and sometimes “ripen” them in vitro (in the laboratory). This is called IVM.
In the strictest type of IVM, no medications are given to stimulate additional eggs to grow; immature eggs are taken from unstimulated ovaries. However, in a modified IVM cycle, low-dose injectable medications may be give
In recent clinical studies, low-dose ovarian stimulation for removal of immature eggs may yield more eggs and improve the lining of the uterus to receive the embryo.
To prevent ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) IVM may be considered for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or PCO- like ovaries. These women are at greatest risk of OHSS
IVM may also be appropriate in women who cannot wait the necessary amount of time to obtain fully mature eggs before cancer treatment begins. In women with estrogen-sensitive cancers, IVM avoids the additional estrogen production that is seen with conventional ovarian stimulation
At the present time, it appears that women who ovulate normally are not as sucessful with IVM than with conventional IVF