IVM success rate increases

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In the last few years, in vitro maturation (IVM) has made its debut and is starting to see increasing success. In the past two months, three babies conceived using IVM have been born in Rhode Island. IVM is one of the latest treatments for infertility in which immature eggs are harvested from the ovaries and matured in the laboratory.

During traditional in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment, hormonal drugs are used to stimulate multiple mature eggs. They are then harvested via a trans-vaginal needle and mixed with sperm in the laboratory through ICSI for fertilization. At an appropriate stage of cell development, the embryo or embryos are then implanted into the womb.

With IVM, eggs are taken directly from the ovaries and matured in a laboratory for 24-48 hours instead of being allowed to mature in the woman's body. Once matured, they are then injected with sperm and a few days later, transplanted to the uterus.

IVM does not require hormonal fertility drugs since the eggs that are harvested are matured in a lab. Eggs are taken directly from the ovaries, so follicle function is less important. This means that there are fewer risks of side effects to the woman and no risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a potentially fatal condition in which the ovaries react sensitively to the drugs and produce many more eggs than are needed.

“With IVM, less medication is used,” according to Dr. Jared Robins, reproductive endocrinologist at Women & Infants Hospital and assistant professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. “Because there are fewer medicines and almost no injections, the patients have less discomfort and do not need to be closely monitored. The retrieval can be scheduled at their convenience.”

More than 400 babies have been born worldwide through IVM treatment compared to over a million children having been born after IVF. Long-term data on safety and efficacy are still developing for IVM. Not every woman is an ideal candidate for this procedure either.

Nevertheless, it’s an option you should discuss with your doctor when researching alternatives. The success rate appears to be comparable, it's quicker because there's no need for weeks of daily injections, and it's cheaper - less than half the cost of standard IVF.

Source: Press Release from the Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island


 
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