Tuesday, February 14, 2006

IVM - In Vitro Egg Maturation. A Way to Avoid Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

I just read an interesting article about IVM - in vitro egg maturation. The method, according to the article, isn't new, but so far only about 300 babies have been born using it. Its main advantage is that it allows a short treatment cycle (3 days of medications) after which the immature ova are obtained. This significantly reduces (or perhaps completely eliminates) the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). For women who have suffered OHSS and are afraid to go through another IVF cycle or have been told by their doctor that it is too risky, IVM can be a last-resort by which they could still have a baby of their own.

The article specifically mentions women with polycystic ovarian syndrome as good candidates for IVM. I actually never knew that having PCOS put women at higher risk for ovarian hyperstimulation, but apparently, as mentioned in this article (by a center offering IVM), it does.

One disadvantage of in vitro egg maturation is that frequently the outer part of the egg becomes practically impenetrable - the sperm just can't get in, requiring intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to be performed. Another disadvantage is that the ova are extremely sensitive and therefore need to be tracked very carefully as they are being matured in the lab. Both of these issues raise the costs associated with the procedure (compared to regular IVF), though the cost is likely to be offset by the much lower cost of medications used to stimulate egg production and the savings due to having less blood tests and ultrasounds (because of the shorter stimulation protocol).

IVM can also be used with regular IVF cycles, when despite a regular stimulation protocol many immature oocytes are obtained, so it can also give couples going through IVF more eggs, meaning that they will have more embryos to freeze for future cycles.

I'm always encouraged to hear that there are more and more solutions for infertility. If IVM can be perfected, perhaps someday in the not-too-distant future, it can replace today's method (usually 1-2 weeks of daily injections) that puts a great strain on women's bodies and consumes so much of their time and energy.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Approximately 600 children are born using IVM.

Close to 200 children by Medicult's IVM medium and at McGills more than 100 children are born using IVM. In addition there are many children born by IVM in Korea and other countries.

Anonymous said...

As a woman who has gone through IVF and has PCOS, I can assure you that it puts you at a higher risk for OHSS. In fact, ALL women who go through IVF are at risk for OHSS, as the drugs intentionally trigger that!

I don't know much about IVM. But having had mild OHSS and known someone who suffered major OHSS (although she did conclude with a beautiful baby), avoiding it is certainly not a bad thin!

Anonymous said...

does anyone know of a mendical center with a high rate of scuess for IVM in the US?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how much IVM costs?

Rachel Inbar said...

Feb 4 2009 - The cost of IVM varies greatly, depending on the medical center. In general, the cost is very similar to IVF, but with almost no cost for drugs, which can be a huge savings.

Anonymous said...

The first successful IVM birth in the United States was achieved by Delaware Valley Institute of Fertility and Genetics in Marlton NJ - http://www.startfertility.com/u_imgs_fld/DVIFGNewsFall06.pdf - though it doesn't look like they have anything on their site dvifg.com about this other than this newsletter.

They're a terrific outfit and we're thankful for knowing them.

maria said...

Can anyone tell me where i can have IVM treatment in the northwest of england ?

Anonymous said...

You can also get IVM treatment at Batzofin Fertility Services in Manhattan. Cost is $4800 - they are also doing a study and if you choose to participate, the cost goes down from that amount. They can be found at www.batzofinfertilityservices.com.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me if there are any clinics in Michigan that offer IVM?
Thanks

Anonymous said...

Could anyone tell me if there is a clinic that offers IVM in Michigan?
Thanks

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