Elias Gatos, M.D.
Surgeon Gynecologist – Obstetrician
Scientific Director emBIO Assisted Reproduction Unit

In Vitro maturation (IVM)

Recent medical research shows that 15% of couples of childbearing potential have an infertility problem due to different factors for each couple. Currently, developments in medicine and biology in assisted reproduction combined with the application of new IVF techniques provide effective solutions to many infertility issues of our times.

The new “In Vitro Maturation” (IVM) is currently widely applied in assisted reproduction. Increasing success rates for this method make it an alternative for women who cannot choose standard drug-induced ovarian stimulation for a number of reasons.

InVitro Maturation (IVM) is a new and effective assisted reproduction method, during which women do not need to have hormonal treatment to produce a large number of mature eggs. Therefore, no hormonal stimulation drugs or gonadotropins are administered before the day on which eggs are collected as is the case with any standard IVF cycle, and various adverse events are prevented (such as ovarian overstimulation syndrome and its potentially serious complications). Immature ovaries are collected from the woman’s ovaries and mature at the laboratory.

When to apply it

In vitro maturation is recommended in the following cases:

  • Young women (under the age of 40) who have many ovarian follicles in their ovaries.
  • Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome who previously experienced or are likely to experience ovarian overstimulation.
  • Women who have repeatedly produced low-quality embryos or not properly responding to hormonal treatment.
  • Women who have initiated a standard IVF cycle with hormonal stimulation if they show ovarian overstimulation and very high blood oestrogen levels. Change in treatment during the cycle is required to ensure IVF continuation and protect the patient’s health.
  • Egg donors to reduce the drug amount they should take and, in theory, reduce the risk for ovarian cancer.
  • Women undergoing or about to undergo chemotherapy for neoplastic diseases, where the administration of hormonal preparations to induce ovulation is contraindicated so that they will preserve fertility without taking hormonal preparations.

The procedure at a glance
In vitro maturation is a very easy therapeutic method requiring much less time than standard IVF.

The entire procedure includes two or three sonograms. The first is performed on the 2nd or 3rd day of the cycle and the second between days 6 and 9 to check endometrial status to measure the size and number of developing ovarian follicles.

Egg collection is usually performed between days 9 and 14 of the cycle. Thirty six (36) hours before the egg collection Human Horionic Gonadotropin (hCG) (Pregnyl) is injected to achieve ovulation and final egg maturation. Eggs are collected immature and once they mature at the lab for 24 to 48 hours, they are fertilised and then embryos are transferred back to the woman’s uterus just like in a standard IVF cycle.

Success rates
This method’s success mostly depends on the number of ovarian follicles, the number, and condition of eggs collected. The success rate for this procedure may reach 35%.


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