During the process of egg freezing, hormones are injected to increase the number of eggs produced in 1 cycle. This may cause ‘Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)’ in some women; the ovaries swell causing pain, bloating, and nausea. Some women have a higher risk of developing OHSS such as those with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or those who have poor ovarian reserve.
In these women, immature eggs are removed and can be froze in 2 ways:
- First, these eggs can be matured in the laboratory (in vitro maturation) and then frozen, or,
- These immature eggs can be frozen at the Germinal Vesicle (GV)-stage (before IVM)
IVM has certain advantages:
- Eliminating costly hormone injections used for ovarian stimulation and frequent monitoring
- Completing treatment within 2 to 10 days
- Avoiding the use of hormones in cancer patients with hormone-sensitive tumors
- Removing the eggs at any point in menstrual cycle
Remember that the efficiency of IVM egg freezing is still low. Consult your doctor to check if you are eligible for this option.