In Vitro Maturation or In Vitro Fertilization for women with polycystic ovaries? A case-control study of 194 treatment cycles

IVM is an alternative to conventional IVF for women with polycystic ovaries. In vitro maturation avoids the risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome but has a significantly lower live birth rate compared with IVF.

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Anne-Sophie Gremeau, M.D., Natasha Andreadis, M.D., Muhammad Fatum, M.D., Jo Craig, M.D., Karen Turner, M.D., Enda Mcveigh, M.D., Tim Child, M.D.

Vol 98, Issue 2 , Pages 355-360



To compare the outcome of unstimulated in vitro maturation (IVM) and routine IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) for women with polycystic ovaries (PCO).


Retrospective case–control study.


Fertility unit.


Ninety-seven patients undergoing IVM were compared with 97 patients undergoing IVF. All had PCO and matched for age, infertility diagnosis, and ovulatory status.


In vitro maturation cycles were unstimulated and hCG was administered 35–40 hours before oocyte retrieval. Oocytes were matured in vitro for 24–48 hours before insemination by ICSI. Endometrial priming with E2 and P was commenced from the day of egg retrieval and one to two embryos were transferred on days 2–5 of development. Standard long protocol IVF/ICSI was used in the control group.

Main Outcome Measure(s):

Live birth rate per cycle and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) rate.


Overall, 65% of IVM eggs matured in vitro in the IVM group. Implantation rates were significantly higher in the IVF group (19.4% vs. 12.9%) as clinical pregnancy rates (50.5% vs. 19.6%) and live birth rates (44.3% vs. 16.5%) than in the IVM group. The OHSS rate was significantly higher in the IVF group (8.2% vs. 0%).


In vitro maturation is a safer and simpler alternative to conventional IVF for women with PCO. It avoids difficulties of gonadotropin stimulation and the risk of OHSS but has a significantly lower live birth rate. Current research projects aim to close the success gap between IVM and IVF.

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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.