A new method of assisting couples to bear children known as “in vitro maturation” (IVM) has been introduced by Dr. S. Lindenberg, Fertility Unit, Herlev University, Copenhagen. An alternative to the standard approach is to collect immature oocytes from medium sized follicles during midcycle and to then mature the ova in the laboratory (IVM).
In this system the oocytes are exposed to culture medium containing the same hormones (FSH and hCG) that would otherwise be administered to the woman in order to stimulate the final oocyte maturation. Recent experimental work in this field in Denmark has shown IVM techniques to be relative efficacious as well as safe.
The advantages if IVM over IVF are:
(1) the infertile woman requires less drugs (making treatment much cheaper).
(2) the duration of treatment is shorter and
(3) the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation is abolished.
Even though IVM is cheaper than IVF/ICSI, the pregnancy rates are sustained. Many infertile couples who find IVF/ICSI expensive can consider the advantages of IVM.