Oocyte in vitro maturation is an assisted reproductive technology that involves collecting immature egg cells from a woman before they are cultivated in vitro with a medium for oocyte maturation. Oocytes are retrieved from the antral follicles of unstimulated or minimally stimulated ovaries.
It is different from the classic In vitro fertilization (IVF) method where mature oocytes are collected from the pre-ovulatory follicles following ovarian stimulation through multiple hormonal injections. Classic IVF risks causing Ovarian Hyperstimulation syndrome, which could be detrimental for an otherwise healthy woman.
IVM is regarded as a successful and safe treatment alternative to classic IVF intended for infertile patients irrespective of the cause of infertility. This is especially beneficial for patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome and women in remission or recovery from cancer which may experience problems from an influx of hormones.