In Vitro Maturation (IVM) Method

In Vitro Maturation (IVM) Method 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.

A woman’s eggs (also called oocytes) are formed before she is born. These eggs stay in a resting state in her ovaries until puberty, when normal hormonal changes cause an egg to mature (ripen) and be released each month.

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. In years past, these eggs were not able to be used for IVF. Advances in science have allowed embryologists to take these immature eggs and sometimes “ripen” them in vitro (in the laboratory). This is called IVM. The eggs may be frozen for later use (as immature eggs, mature eggs, or embryos after they have been combined with sperm and fertilized). Or, they may be matured, fertilized, and placed into a woman’s uterus in hopes of pregnancy.

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 given.