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In Vitro Maturation (IVM) is an alternative approach for women needing IVF who suffer Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or are at serious risk of severe ovarian hyperstimulation.

The technique is relatively new and is licensed in the UK by the HFEA.During IVM immature eggs are collected from the ovaries without the use of fertility drugs to mature them in the woman’s ovaries. The eggs are then matured in the laboratory for 24 to 48 hours, injected by sperm (ICSI), and embryos are created. The remainder of the procedure mirrors IVF/ICSI procedure.

Not every woman is suitable for this technique, as the woman has to have a large number of immature follicles. This can be assessed and predicted by 2/3D ultrasound scanning of the ovaries and performing an Antral Follicle Count (AFC). An AFC of 20 or more is a good indicator of suitability for the procedure. As with standard IVF, on occasions no eggs are collected despite indications that the woman is suitable for the procedure.

IVM is a new procedure and therefore no well established pregnancy statistics are available and it is possible that pregnancy rates may be lower than IVF.