An introduction to In Vitro Maturation
In Vitro Maturation (IVM) is a revolutionary fertility treatment, which has been pioneered by our Scientific Director, Professor R C Chian. It involves the collection of immature eggs from a woman, which are then matured in the lab. By this method, it is possible to collect multiple eggs without giving hormone stimulation. CREATE Fertility were the first centre in Europe to offer Natural Cycle IVF with IVM.
What is IVM?
During each menstrual cycle, usually only a single follicle (egg sac) grows to the ovulation stage to release an egg for potential fertilisation. However, there are several small follicles called antral follicles in the ovary which contain immature eggs. With IVM these can be collected and matured in the lab. Immature eggs are matured in the laboratory using special and advanced culture conditions to create several embryos.
Combining IVM with Natural Cycle IVF
Most fertility clinics are unable to use IVM effectively and use it only in select groups of patients. However, at CREATE Fertility, we have pioneered an approach of using IVM with Natural Cycle IVF where this is of benefit to the patient. When performing Natural Cycle IVF, the aim is to collect just a single egg within a natural cycle, without the use of stimulating drugs. By using IVM in combination, we can aim to not only collect the one mature egg, but also collect several additional immature eggs. This has the ability to increase the chance that we can create more embryos without the need for stimulation drugs, combining the advantages of Natural Cycle IVF, with the ability to create more embryos.
We can also use IVM in combination with Modified Natural IVF, depending on the circumstances.
What are the advantages of Natural Cycle IVF with IVM?
More embryos: Natural Cycle IVF/M potentially creates more embryos without stimulating drugs. Around 70-80% of immature eggs collected from the ovaries will mature 24-48 hours after culture in the laboratory. IVM therefore potentially results in several viable embryos, some of which can be frozen and transferred in a subsequent cycle.
Success rates: Because immature eggs are collected, there is a chance of creating more embryos, which leads to an increased chance of pregnancy.
Healthy babies: So far, there have been more than 2500 healthy babies born worldwide following the collection of immature eggs which were matured with IVM. (Data from Canada, Denmark, France, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and China).
More affordable: Natural Cycle IVF/M is more affordable than conventional stimulated IVF because the drug cost is greatly reduced.
Safer Treatment: Natural Cycle IVF with IVM avoids the effects of stimulation drugs and eliminates the risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).The treatment is carried out in a woman’s own natural menstrual cycle, with no suppression from drugs that can cause menopausal symptoms. There is no artificial cycle and women feel that they are in control.
Who is Suitable for this Treatment?
This treatment can be used for anyone who is ovulating and who is recommended to do IVM by one of our doctors. It can be particularly useful for people for whom time is short, or who are unable to take fertility medication (due to an oestrogen dependent tumour for example).
Natural Cycle IVF with IVM is also a successful alternative for women with Polycystic Ovaries (PCO) or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). In general, the clinical pregnancy rates are 30-35% in infertile women with PCO or PCOS, based on approximately 1,000 cycles of IVM-treatment.
What is the first step for Natural IVF with IVM?
The first step is to come in for an initial scan and consultation. At this appointment the doctor will assess your situation and devise a personalised treatment plan.
Why CREATE Fertility?
- One of our Scientific Directors, Professor RC Chian is a global pioneer in IVM.
- Combined with our expertise in more natural forms of fertility treatment, we are able to use IVM more effectively than other fertility clinics. We have the greatest experience with IVM in the UK.
- Our theatre is open seven days a week so that we can work with your cycle.
- We have not had a case of severe OHSS since our founding and are experts at delivering safe care.
For more information, see our FAQs about Natural and Mild IVF.