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Which is Right for You: IVF or IVM?

A blog by Dr. John Zhang, New Hope Fertility, September 17, 2015

In vitro maturation (IVM) is one of the newest tools in the field of fertility medicine. Instead of harvesting mature eggs, IVM harvests immature eggs which are then matured in a laboratory setting. This tool can help a number of women who are not well suited for IVF treatment. Additionally, IVM provides another treatment option for women who are looking to preserve their fertility.

In Vitro Maturation vs. IVF
During IVF treatment, mature eggs are harvested for fertilization. Mature eggs may be achieved with the assistance of fertility medication in what is now known as a traditional IVF protocol. Other protocols use little to no medication and instead harvest mature eggs that were produced naturally or with minimal stimulation. For some women, this process is not ideal. Some women do not react well to fertility medication or at an advanced risk of developing OHSS. Other women may not have the time to wait for maturation to occur.

In vitro maturation harvests eggs that have not yet reached maturity. The eggs are then matured in a laboratory setting. Once mature, the eggs may then be fertilized in order to create embryos. Those embryos may then be used or stored for future use. If the eggs are not fertilized, they may be frozen once matured and stored until the woman is ready for them to be used in future treatment.

Selecting a Fertility Treatment Option
The best way to know which treatment option is best for you is to speak with a fertility expert. Your fertility plan should only be put together once the root cause of your fertility issue is identified and understood. While IVM can be beneficial to some women, it is not the best treatment option for everyone. It is important to make your fertility decisions once you are fully informed.


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