IVM or In vitro Maturation is a newer technique offered in the array of ART services. Here, the egg or ovum pick up is done when the follicles in the ovaries are relatively small and the immature oocytes obtained are allowed to mature “ in-vitro” that is in the laboratory by using special medias. After the oocytes are mature (24 hours after egg pick up, usually) they are allowed to fertilize by IVF or ICSI. The embryos so generated are then transferred in the usual way into the woman, after ensuring adequate womb lining preparation (endometrial thickness).
The advantage of IVM procedure is the safety it offers to many women who would be considered too high risk for conventional IVF procedure. The commonest group of women who are offered IVM treatment are those with PCOS. As IVM requires minimal stimulation with low dose of gonadotrophin hormones, the risk of hyperstimulation in these women is significantly reduced.
At present, the pregnancy success rates with IVM is much lower compared to IVF treatment. However, with improved technology this should be overcome in years to come. Ultimately it may be the safest, most economical way of achieving pregnancies using ART.
It was about 4 years back, there was plenty of joy and celebration in family as my pregnancy test had come positive but it turned into sorrow…