In vitro maturation of oocytes for preserving fertility in autoimmune premature ovarian insufficiency

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Michael Grynberg, M.D., Ph.D., Laetitia Jacquesson, M.D., and Christophe Sifer, Pharm.D.



To test whether in vitro maturation (IVM) of oocytes is an option for preserving the fertility of women diagnosed with premature ovarian insufficiency (POI).


Case report.


University hospital.


A 36-year-old amenorrheic patient was referred for fertility preservation (FP) counseling with a diagnosis of autoimmune POI. Serum follicle-stimulating hormone (21.0 and 36.3 mIU/mL) and luteinizing hormone (35.0 and 60.0 mIU/mL) levels taken 4 weeks apart were around the menopausal range. Although serum antimüllerian hormone level was low (0.76 and 0.65 ng/mL), total counts of antral follicles remained unexpectedly normal (24 and 22). Significant levels of serum antiperoxidase, anti-21-hydroxylase, and antiovary antibodies led to the diagnosis of autoimmune polyendocrinopathy. Due to the unknown time before follicular exhaustion, we undertook a FP program.


After unsuccessful follicular growth following a trial of ovarian stimulation using recombinant follicle-stimulating hormone (300 IU/day for 10 days), we decided to try IVM of immature oocytes aspirated from the remaining antral-stage follicles.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Obtention of immature oocyte capable of maturing in vitro in a context of acute ovarian dysfunction.


Two cycles of IVM were performed, leading, after human chorionic gonadotropin priming, to six and 10 cumulus-oocyte complexes recovered and four and eight metaphase II oocytes. Finally, after intracytoplasmic sperm injection, a total of eight cleavage-stage embryos were frozen. When the patient presented in the clinic 1 year later for reutilization of the cryopreserved embryos, thyroid and adrenal functions were controlled with levothyroxine and hydrocortisone. Endometrium was primed with 17ß-estradiol (2 mg/day, vaginally) for 14 days. Progesterone (600 mg/day, vaginally) was subsequently combined with E2. Two embryos were thawed and further transferred into the uterus. The patient became pregnant and uneventfully delivered two baby boys at term.


We report the first pregnancy and live birth achieved using IVM for FP in a woman diagnosed with autoimmune POI. The confirmation of our results would lead to modification in the management of young women diagnosed with autoimmune POI, who are usually not considered candidates for FP and often referred for egg donation when seeking pregnancy.

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. The journal publishes juried original scientific articles in clinical and laboratory research relevant to reproductive endocrinology, urology, andrology, physiology, immunology, genetics, contraception, and menopause. Fertility and Sterility® encourages and supports meaningful basic and clinical research, and facilitates and promotes excellence in professional education, in the field of reproductive medicine.

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