In Vitro Maturation (IVM)

In vitro maturation (IVM) / Natural Cycle IVF is a process in which immature eggs are retrieved with an in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle and matured in culture media within the laboratory for approximately 24-48 hours.

What is the difference between Natural Cycle IVM and conventional IVF cycles?

During conventional IVF, the ovaries are stimulated with injectable medications.

Stimulation protocols are designed to retrieve multiple mature eggs. However, with IVM you will avoid the use of fertility drugs and utilize your own menstrual cycle to retrieve both immature and mature eggs. The immature eggs will then be matured in culture within the laboratory for 24-48 hours.

Once the eggs have matured, they will be fertilized with the patient’s partner sperm via intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Several days later, the fertilized egg, now called an embryo, will be transferred back to the patient’s uterus.

What are the advantages of IVM?

  • Patients will avoid using fertility drugs
  • Patients do not have to pay the cost of infertility drugs, which often can be quite expensive
  • There is minimal risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which is a rare complication of conventional IVF
  • Ideal for patients who do not wish to produce multiple eggs/embryos

Are there any risks with IVM?

The risks associated with natural cycle IVF and in vitro maturation (IVM) are principally linked to the possibilities that a) no eggs are harvested; b) none of the immature eggs will mature in vitro; c) none of the eggs will fertilize; d) none of the fertilized eggs (now called embryos) will divide and be suitable for transfer. These risks, although less common, are also present with conventional IVF.

Is IVM harmful for a child born through this process?

There has not been an increased rate of major congenital malformations in children born from the transfer of embryos from in vitro matured eggs. A certain percentage of children in the normal human population will be born with mental or physical defects. The occurrence of these defects is believed to be outside the control of physicians.

Am I a candidate for IVM?

All of our providers are knowledgeable about IVM / Natural Cycle IVF and can discuss if it is appropriate for your individual fertility requirements. Please contact the office to schedule an appointment with one of our providers.