Patient Factsheet teaser

What is in vitro maturation (IVM)?

Revised 2023


What is IVM?

In vitro maturation (IVM) is when a woman’s eggs are collected and matured outside the body in the laboratory. This is done as part of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure.

A woman’s eggs (also called oocytes) are formed before she is born. These eggs stay in a resting state in her ovaries until puberty, when normal hormonal changes cause an egg to mature (ripen) and be released each month.

When a woman undergoes IVF, she usually takes medicine to cause more than 1 egg to mature at the same time. These eggs are collected before they are released from the ovary and are then placed with sperm in the laboratory in hopes of fertilization. In some cases, some or all of the oocytes (eggs) that are collected are not mature and ready to be fertilized. In years past, these eggs were not able to be used for IVF. Advances in science have allowed embryologists to take these immature eggs and sometimes “ripen” them in vitro (in the laboratory), this is IVM. The eggs may be frozen for later use (as immature eggs, mature eggs, or embryos after they have been combined with sperm and fertilized). Or they may be matured, fertilized, and placed into a woman’s uterus in hopes of pregnancy.

Are women undergoing IVM required to take injectable medicines to induce ovulation?

In the strictest type of IVM, no medications are given to stimulate additional eggs to grow; immature eggs are taken from unstimulated ovaries. However, in a modified IVM cycle, low-dose injectable medications may be given.

What is the purpose of using medicine to stimulate the ovary for IVM?

In recent clinical studies, low-dose ovarian stimulation for removal of immature eggs may yield more eggs and improve the lining of the uterus to receive the embryo.

Why use IVM?

To prevent ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) IVM may be considered for women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or PCO- like ovaries. These women are at greatest risk of OHSS. OHSS is an exaggerated response to medicines used to induce ovulation, especially after the use of injectable gonadotropin agents when hCG is used for final follicular maturation (for more information about OHSS, see the ASRM patient fact sheet titled Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome [OHSS]). However, using different medication for final follicular maturation called leuprolide (GnRH agonist) instead of hCG greatly reduces this risk and can be used as an alternative to IVM.

In cancer patients

IVM may also be appropriate in women who cannot wait the necessary amount of time to obtain fully mature eggs before cancer treatment begins. In women with estrogen-sensitive cancers, IVM avoids the additional estrogen production that is seen with conventional ovarian stimulation. Retrieving immature eggs for later use is a way for these women to preserve their ability to have a child later.

Are there any benefits to IVM?

IVM requires less medication than conventional IVF and lowers the immediate cost of treatment; however, the pregnancy rates are also lower, so it is unclear whether IVM is more cost-effective. An IVM cycle also takes less time.

Is IVM available today?

In certain situations, particularly when conventional IVF is not possible, IVM is an alternative treatment. It is becoming more widely available, although pregnancy rates are lower in most cases. There may be certain groups of women who have equal success rates. Only a small number of children have been born from IVM so safety data is not fully assessed.

Would IVM benefit all infertile women?

At the present time, it appears that women who ovulate normally are not as successful with IVM than with conventional IVF. Research in this area is ongoing. Talk to your doctor to find out if IVM may be right for you.

Fact Sheets/Booklets

View more fact sheets and booklets written by the ASRM Patient Education Committee.
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Hormonal Contraception

Hormonal contraceptives contain a progestin (progesterone medicine) with or without an estrogen.
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Third-Party Reproduction

The phrase “third-party reproduction” refers to involving someone other than the individual or couple that plans to raise the child (intended parent[s]) in the process of reproduction.
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Menopausal Transition (Perimenopause): What Is It?

The menopausal transition (perimenopause) is the period that links a woman’s reproductive (childbearing) years and menopause.
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Stress and infertility

It is not clear how exactly stress impacts fertility.

Resources For You

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) is committed to providing patients with the highest quality information about reproductive care.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

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SART Fertility Experts - Global Access to IVF and the Status of Women

Around the world, there are vast differences in the number of IVF cycles performed per capita.  Learn why these differences exist. Listen to the Episode
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Advocacy in Action

Join the ASRM Advocacy in Action 2024 campaign by making a tax-deductible charitable gift before July 31!  Be part of Advocacy in Action
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Order your FREE Vot-ER badge to encourage your friends to vote!

ASRM) is pleased to announce our partnership with Vot-ER, a grassroots organization dedicated to driving civic engagement among healthcare professionals.

View the Press Release
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ASRM Responds to Senate Vote on IVF Bill

ASRM is disappointed that a filibuster prevented the passage of the Right to IVF Act.

View the Press Release
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ASRM Calls for Passage of Family Building Bill

It would increase access to IVF treatments for all Americans, including active-duty service members, veterans, and federal employees.

View the Press Release
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ASRM publishes IVF one-pagers for media use

The documents lay out the clinical IVF process, summarize oversight of IVF in the U.S., and explain how lawmakers can support access to IVF. 

View the Press Release
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ASRM Reacts to Cruz/Britt OPED

We are pleased to see Senators Cruz and Britt express their interest in protecting access to IVF.

View the Press Release
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ASRM Files Amicus Brief in Texas Embryo Case

ASRM has filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in the case of Antoun v Antoun, which is pending before the Texas Supreme Court. 

View the Press Release
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Survey shows strong support for increased access to fertility treatments

A new public opinion poll reveals strong support for improved access to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). 

View the Press Release
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National Infertility Awareness Week 2024: Leave Your Mark

Next week is National Infertility Awareness Week, a federally recognized health observance founded to increase awareness of infertility.

View the Press Release
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IVF-assisted pregnancies constitute 2.5% of all births in 2022

In 2022, the number of babies born from IVF increased from 89,208 in 2021 to 91,771 in 2022. This means that 2.5% of births in the US are a result of ART.

View the Press Release
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ASRM provides testimony to Senate Judiciary Committee on threats facing IVF

ASRM shared with the Senate Judiciary Committee the dangers to reproductive medicine nearly two years after the Dobbs decision.

View the Press Release
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ASRM reacts to Alabama legislation

We are pleased that the legislation passed into law by the Alabama General Assembly will at least allow our members in the state to care for their patients.

View the Press Release
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IVF at the SOTU: Fertility care expected to be major focus at State of the Union

Protecting access to IVF care is expected to be a major theme of the State of the Union on Thursday.

View the Press Release
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ASRM Responds to Proposed Alabama Legislation

We are proud of our Alabama members and their patients, who have been such incredible advocates working to motivate their legislators to protect IVF.

View the Press Release
Announcement Icon

Senate Budget Hearing is Well Timed Following Alabama IVF Ruling

ASRM statement regarding the Senate Budget Committee’s hearing entitled: No Rights to Speak of: The Economic Harms of Restricting Reproductive Freedom.

View the Press Release
Announcement Icon

ASRM Responds to Senate’s Failure to Pass Access to Family Building Act

We are disappointed by the Senate’s failure to meet the moment and pass federal legislation protecting access to in vitro fertilization (IVF).

View the Press Release
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Society of Reproductive Biologists and Technologists (SRBT) Condemns Recent Court Decision in Alabama

The recent ruling by the Alabama Supreme Court that frozen embryos are legally considered people has sparked controversy and concern.

View the Press Release
Announcement Icon

ASRM Condemns Profoundly Misguided and Dangerous Court Decision in Alabama

In LePage v Mobile Infirmary Clinic, the Alabama Supreme Court made a decision that flies in the face of medical reality and the needs of the citizens.

View the Press Release
Podcast Icon

SART Fertility Experts - Recurrent Pregnancy Loss and Implantation Failure

"I can get pregnant, but I can't stay pregnant," is echoed by patients with recurrent pregnancy loss.   Listen to the Episode
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SART Fertility Experts - Navigating IVF as a Couple

Mary Casey Jacob, PhD is interviewed by Dr. Daniel Grow, and together they explore the emotional and practical support that couples need. Listen to the Episode
Patient Ed Icon

What do I need to know about conceiving after tubal surgery?

Fallopian tubes connect the ovary (where the eggs are stored and grow) to the uterus (womb), where the fertilized egg develops into a baby (fetus). View the fact sheet
Podcast Icon

SART Fertility Experts - Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

Candace discusses her experience with infertility, IVF, multiple pregnancy losses and ultimately a successful delivery with Dr. Julia Woodward.
Listen to the Episode
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SART Fertility Experts - Infertility Advocacy and Government Affairs

In today's episode, Dr. Mark Trolice interviews Sean Tipton about the fact that many infertility patients do not have insurance coverage for treatment. Listen to the Episode
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SART Fertility Experts - Behind the Scenes in the IVF Lab

Dr. Sangita Jindal,  helps patients understand the importance of the IVF lab when choosing an IVF program.   Listen to the Episode
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SART Fertility Experts - Your Infertility Nurse: Partner in Your Care

Infertility nurse practitioner and health coach Monica Moore explains the essential role of the infertility nurse in the IVF process.  Listen to the Episode
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SART Fertility Experts - Genetics and IVF

Genetics is a significant part of advanced reproductive technology screening.  Listen to the Episode
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SART Fertility Experts - Fertility and LGBTQ

In this episode, Dr. Daniel Grow interviews Dr. Mark Leondires, the founder of Gay Parents To Be.  Listen to the Episode
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SART Fertility Experts - What is an REI?

These experts in infertility lead IVF programs, perform reproductive surgery, and perform research to enhance the field of reproductive medicine. Listen to the Episode
Podcast Icon

SART Fertility Experts - What is IVF?

In this episode, we discuss the ins-and-outs of in vitro fertilization (IVF).   Listen to the Episode
Videos Icon

Start with SART

The very first thing you should do when evaluating a clinic is verify that it is a member of SART. Watch Video
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Preparing for In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Lifestyle Factors

This SART micro-video discusses lifestyle factors that may affect in vitro fertilization, or IVF, outcomes.   Watch Video
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The Difference Between IUI and IVF

It is important to know Intrauterine insemination (IUI) or In vitro fertilization (IVF) can both be successful at helping grow your family.  Watch Video
Videos Icon

Understanding the SART Clinic Report

During this video we will discuss the SART Clinic Report concepts and demonstrate some of the report features. Watch Video
Patient Ed Icon

Infertility: an Overview (booklet)

Infertility is typically defined as the inability to achieve pregnancy after one year of unprotected intercourse. View the booklet
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Progesterone supplementation during IVF

Progesterone is a hormone produced by the ovary. View the fact sheet
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What is intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)?

A procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can be done along with in vitro fertilization (IVF) if a sperm cannot penetrate the outer layer of an egg. Read the Fact Sheet
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In vitro fertilization (IVF): what are the risks?

IVF is a method of assisted reproduction in which a man’s sperm and a woman’s eggs are combined outside of the body in a laboratory dish. View the fact sheet
Patient Ed Icon

Fertility Rights and Responsibilities

Can a fertility program or clinic deny treatment to patient(s) if there is concern about the ability to care for the child(ren)? Yes. Fertility programs can withhold services if there are signs that patients will not be able to care for child(ren). View this Fact Sheet
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Hydrosalpinx

The fallopian tubes are attached to the uterus (womb) on the left and right sides. View the Fact Sheet
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Preimplantation genetic testing (including preimplantation genetic diagnosis and preimplantation genetic screening)

Your embryos can be tested for abnormal chromosomes before they are transferred to the uterus. View the fact sheet
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Side effects of injectable fertility drugs (gonadotropins)

Gonadotropins are fertility medications given by injection that contain follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) alone or combined with luteinizing hormone (LH). View the fact sheet
Info Icon

SART FAQ About IVF

Created by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) the following are answers to frequently asked questions concerning in vitro fertilization (IVF). Learn the facts
Patient Ed Icon

Kristen Ritchie's Story

I spent seven years navigating infertility, which was tumultuous but also a period of tremendous personal growth in hindsight. Read the story
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In Vitro Fertilization Infographics

ASRM has prepared infographics to illustrate the subject of in vitro fertilization (IVF) better. View the infographics
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It takes more than one

Why IVF patients often need multiple embryos to have a baby View the advocacy resource
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What support for IVF looks like

Bipartisan support for IVF, that is responsible for the birth of over 2% of all babies born in the USA each year, will ensure that families continue to grow. View the advocacy resource
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Oversight of IVF in the US

In the US, medical care is regulated by a complex and comprehensive network of federal and state regulations and professional oversight. View the advocacy resource

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