How successful is the drug-free in vitro fertilization (IVM) method? - Dr. Senai Aksoy

How successful is the drug-free in vitro fertilization (IVM) method?

If you are looking for an answer to the question of how beneficial and successful drug-free IVF applications offered to patients who long for a child and resort to the IVF method are, be sure to read this article.

IVM, or in vitro maturation, is an alternative to IVF treatment and involves the maturation of eggs in a laboratory setting. This method has been in use since the late 1990s. In IVM, immature eggs are collected with minimal or no drug usage, matured externally, and then fertilized and transferred.

The method was first introduced to perform IVF without using drugs in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) who respond excessively to medications.

What are the benefits of IVM?

Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are extremely sensitive to the effects of drugs that stimulate the ovaries, called gonadotropins. As a result, they are prone to a complication called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), which requires hospitalization and treatment. 

Hormones secreted during pregnancy, in particular, further stimulate the ovaries that the drugs have already stimulated. Consequently, fluid leaks into the abdominal cavity and blood clotting problems occur. When IVF is performed without stimulating the ovaries with drugs, the risk of OHSS is eliminated.

IVF success rates

The main feature that sets the IVM method apart from IVF performed with drugs is the absence of drug use. However, pregnancy rates with IVM are lower than with IVF performed with drugs. The main reason IVM has not become more widespread, despite its advantages, is that success rates are not at the desired level. Introducing new and more advanced IVM culture media will inevitably lead to the widespread use of this technique.

No scientific evidence yet

There is no scientific evidence regarding the use of IVM in women who have previously had unsuccessful IVF attempts and women whose ovaries respond poorly to drugs. Presenting this method, currently used in a very limited patient group, as a panacea for all problems is extremely problematic.

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