In-vitro maturation, or IVM, is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) that involves collecting eggs from a woman before they are matured with hormonal injections. After immature eggs are collected via a minor surgical procedure, they are then matured in a culture using hormones or soon, a naturally occurring oocyte protein dimer. Typically, then the matured eggs are manually fertilized using a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). Once the embryos have time to begin development, they are transferred into the woman’s womb and the wait begins to see if pregnancy occurs.
The old and new IVM procedures are very similar, only really differing in one aspect. After the immature eggs are collected from the woman’s ovaries, they are matured in a cell culture. The old method used hormones to mature the eggs, while the new method uses a protein dimer called cumulin (explained below). The old IVM did not produce very healthy matured eggs, while the new method produces 50% more healthy mature eggs.