It is known that the success rate in IVF procedures is directly related to the number of good quality transferable embryos. When using modern IVF protocols, high doses of gonadotropic hormones are used to stimulate the ovarian structures, as a result of which many follicles, respectively eggs and embryos are formed.
What is invitro maturation?
Invitro maturation (IVM) is an innovative infertility treatment designed to provide a safer and cheaper alternative to traditional invitro treatment. Invitro maturation is a relatively new procedure, similar to invitro fertilization, but there are some significant differences. In classical invitro fertilization, medications are used to bring the patient’s eggs to maturity before they are removed from the ovary. In invitro maturation, drugs are not used, and the eggs are extracted from the ovary in an immature stage of development and brought to maturity (maturation) in the laboratory. Even if small doses of hormones are included, they represent about 10% of what patients take in classic invitro treatment. IVM has fewer examinations and laboratory tests, as well as a shorter treatment period. After ovulation and maturation, the processes in the standard invitro procedure and IVM are extremely similar.
How does IVM work?
Immature eggs are extracted from unstimulated or minimally stimulated ovaries under ultrasound control. The immature eggs are then matured in the laboratory for 24-48 hours, using a special culture medium to which small amounts of hormones have been added. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is used to fertilize the mature eggs. The resulting embryos are transferred to the patient’s uterus.
In which cases IVM treatment is reccomended?
- Women at high risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS);
- Women with ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS);
- Cases of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS);
- Young, tall and thin women with polycystic ovary structures;
All cases in which invitro treatment is required:
- Diseases such as active systemic lupus erythematosus and some forms of breast cancer in which an increase in estrogen levels in the blood is contraindicated ;
- Presence of only male infertility factor.
- Women with blocked or damaged fallopian tubes.
- Women who have had their fallopian tubes removed.
- Women with ovulation disorders, premature ovarian failure or uterine fibroids.
- Couples or women with undefined infertility.
- Women with certain malignancies in whom chemotherapy should be started without delay;
Are there any risks?
Risks to women’s health are reduced compared to the classic invitro procedure. Regarding genetic risks, published data show that the percentage of congenital malformations in children conceived after IVM does not increase compared to children conceived by IVF and ICSI procedures.
See the first baby in Bulgaria born after invitro maturation here.