Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What is In Vitro Maturation?

See above. What is In Vitro Maturation and how is it different from IVF? Anyone know?

See, I do searches periodically for news articles about fertility. I keep hoping that there will be something... something. Preferably with the headline "HEY NICA -- THIS WILL GET YOU PREGNANT!!"

In Vitro Maturation popped up a while back, and though I have g.oogle.d it, I'll be darned it I understand it. Because if it works so well... why aren't more folks using it? If anyone has a clue, feel free to share with the rest of the class...

And speaking of being confused by the news... Being overweight is bad for fertility, trans-fats are bad for fertility, but a diet high in fat is good for fertility.

My little head is hurting...


squarepeg said...

It's a good question! I asked an RE about it recently and did some research myself. In vitro maturation is used when eggs are immature. They are treated in a petri dish with growth factors that help them to mature to a point that they can be fertilized. There are two "common" ways to do it (and when I say common, I mean not that common at all but when it IS done these are the ways it is done -that made no sense).

First, the eggs can be harvested very early in a cycle after little to no FSH stimulation. Then all the eggs are in vitro matured (they grow and go through meiosis) and fertilized with sperm (usually via ICSI.) Alternatively, a normal IVF cycle is done and any immature eggs that are collected at retrieval are in vitro matured and fertilization is attempted.

In theory it is a particularly good system for PCOS patients who produce a lot of eggs (many immature) and who are at risk for OHSS. By taking the oocytes early OHSS is avoided. But it is not all that commonly done. I think the culturing conditions have yet to be perfected. It is becoming more common though, and I bet in a few years it will be offered in many clinics.

I seem to remember hearing the Cornell does it - you might want to hunt around there.

I'm having an RE appt. today to talk about my next IVF cycle and that is one thing I am interested in. I'll let you know if I learn anything else :)

(also - email me if you have more specific questions. I've read a lot of the primary medical literature recently so I might be able to dig up answers)

Bea said...

As squarepeg said. There's been some new developments (in culture media etc) in the last year or so and it's finally becoming a viable option. The thought is that in a few years' time it might be quite commonplace, but more studies/clinical trials need to be done before the practice becomes widespread.

I hope it turns out as well as they imagine - I'm in the target group of patients who would benefit.