Difference between IVM and IVF

Summary: IVM is a technique that is slowly gaining popularity. It is being used on a trial basis in the US. This technique will revolutionise the way IVF is being conducted. The first IVM baby was born in Bangalore in 2003. It is a shorter treatment and much cheaper too. 


Many infertile couples who have undergone IVF without any success wonder if there is any other type of fertility treatment they can try. In Vitro Maturation is a new technique that is being used on a trial basis in some countries and has shown some very promising results.

In vitro fertilisation is the most common and successful assisted reproduction treatment for couples who are unable to get pregnant. The process involves an out of body fertilisation of the egg and the sperm. Mature eggs are extracted from the female partner during ovulation for fertilisation with the sperm. The actual fertilisation procedure takes place in the lab under the expertise of an embryologist.

Egg maturity

For the IVF procedure mature eggs are required. These are extracted from the female partners by administering hormone based drugs to stimulate the ovaries to produce a larger number of mature eggs. During ovulation when the oocytes are mature, they are retrieved from the ovaries. It is necessary to have a mature egg for the embryo fertilisation process.

The revolutionary IVM procedure involves a technique where by the immature oocyte are retrieved and matured in an incubator. The maturation process takes between 24 to 48 hours. This eliminates the need to administer hormone injections to the female partner to mature the eggs. It saves times and not to mention cost. The HCG or GNRH injections administered for oocyte maturation are quite expensive and add to the cost of the IVF treatment.

Lower Cost

IVM is less expensive than IVF because it does not involve taking costly gonadotropin injections. These hormone injections can have harsh side effects and if patients can find a way to avoid it, then they would rather evade taking the hormones. IVM also involve less monitoring which helps to further reduce costs.

Shorter treatment

Moreover, IVM is a shorter treatment regimen compared with in vitro fertilization. There is no need to wait for the ovulation cycle to retrieve the eggs. Immature eggs can be retrieved at any time. Usually the IVF procedure takes long due to the fact that it has to be timed accurately to the time of ovulation for egg retrieval.

Eliminates the risk of OHSS

There are some very great benefits to IVM which will make it a popular sought after infertility treatment once it is recognised. IVF is based on stimulation of the ovaries to produce a larger quantity of mature oocyte.

Stimulated IVF has many side effects and patients run the risk of developing ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome (OHSS). The IVM treatment does not involve ovarian stimulation as the immature eggs are extracted from the ovaries. IVM eliminates the risk of OHSS, which can sometimes be fatal if a patient overreacts to the hormone injections.

Can I opt for IVM rather than IVF

Currently there are very few hospitals that are offering the In Vitro Maturation treatment.

Is this treatment available in India?

Yes IVM is available in select hospitals in India.

Is IVM safe to try?

It is totally safe and very similar to IVF with a very slight difference in the way the oocyte is handled.

Why is IVM cheaper?

It eliminates the need for ovarian stimulation injections and also requires comparatively less monitoring.

Can I ask my doctor for IVM instead of IVF?

If the fertility clinic you are getting your treatment at offers the facility you can ask for the IVM treatment instead.

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