Development of in vitro maturation techniques for clinical applications

Mild-stimulation in vitro fertilization combined with in vitro maturation may prove to be not just an alternate protocol to standard treatments, but potentially a firstline treatment.

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Volume 108, Issue 4, Pages 577–584


Zhi-Yong Yang, M.D., Ri-Cheng Chian, Ph.D.


In vitro maturation (IVM) refers to maturation in culture of immature oocytes at different stages that may or may not have been exposed to short courses of gonadotropins. The source of immature oocytes is an important feature for subsequent embryonic development, pregnancy, and healthy live births. IVM is an effective treatment that has already achieved significant outcomes of acceptable pregnancy and implantation rates and has led to the births of several thousand healthy babies. As the development of IVM treatment continues, an attractive possibility for improving the already successful outcome is to combine a natural-cycle in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment with immature-oocyte retrieval followed by IVM of those immature oocytes. If the treatment processes can be simplified for immature-oocyte retrieval, different types of infertile women may be able to take advantage of these treatments. Mild-stimulation IVF combined with IVM treatment may represent a viable alternative to the standard treatment. Although IVM treatment is still considered to be experimental, it is now time to reconsider the IVM technology and its development. Mild-stimulation IVF combined with IVM may prove to be not just alternatives to standard treatments, but potentially first-line treatment choices.

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Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.