To help boost egg production, fertility drugs are used to stimulate the ovaries to produce follicles which contain the eggs. The developing follicles are monitored and when they are large enough, they are carefully emptied to collect the eggs that they have produced. They are collected while the patient is under sedation or general anaesthesia. To freeze the eggs, they are placed in storage in liquid nitrogen.
Step 1: As in conventional IVF, eggs are collected, but at an earlier stage, when they are immature. This means that you do not need to take as many ovary-stimulating hormones before your eggs are collected.
Step 2: The eggs are matured in a dish with the special IVM media placed in an incubator in the laboratory for one to two days.
Step 3: When the eggs are mature, they are fertilised with your partner’s, or donor’s sperm. Embryos are cultured then transferred to your womb, just as they would be with conventional IVF treatment.
The chances of a successful pregnancy with IVM are similar to those with conventional IVF, with the following additional risks:
As IVM is a new technique, there is not enough evidence to be absolutely certain of its safety as the number of children born is very few - about 400 worldwide - and those that have been born are still very young. The known risks of IVM are: