In Vitro Maturation (IVM)
In Vitro Maturation (IVM) is a modern method within the framework of assisted reproduction. In contrast with in vitro fertilisation (IVF), woman receives not at all or very small quantities of injectable hormones, having as result the collected eggs to mature in the laboratory in appropriate maturation liquid. Then fertilisation of the eggs takes place as in a usual assisted reproduction cycle with the use of the method of in vitro fertilisation. If the pregnancy percentage is smaller than that of standard in vitro fertilisation, IVM method may be a solution especially for women who are suggested to avoid hormones. Until July 2004, 117 healthy babies were born with this method.
During the natural cycle of a woman more than one follicle is used to complete their development. After about 14 days only one of these follicles matures (with diameter about 20 mm), thus generating a mature follicle. The other follicles stop to developing and atrophy.
What happens during IVM process is that immature follicles are collected (with diameter between 2 and 12 mm), when they are still at the beginning of their development. So, these follicles – therefore the eggs too – are still immature at the moment of their collection. Then, the eggs mature in the laboratory within the following 48 hours with IVM processes.
After the egg maturation the processes of fertilisation, growth of the embryo and its transfer that are followed areidentical to those followed in any assisted reproduction technology cycle.