“Egg Rescue” Procedure Could Boost IVF Results

Special attention to even immature egg cells boosts usable embryos by 60%  – an increase particularly important for older fertility patients with poor egg/embryo numbers


Women with low-functioning ovaries produce fewer and lower-quality eggs. Each additional egg, therefore, counts when attempting pregnancy via in vitro fertilization (IVF). Typically, immature egg cells deemed unsuitable for fertilization are discarded. A new process, however, produces an astonishing 60% more viable embryos, according to a study just published in Endocrine, the International Journal of Basic and Clinical Endocrinology by researchers from New York’s Center for Human Reproduction.


The process of in vitro maturation (IVM) involves taking immature egg cells and, in a laboratory setting, mimicking the maturing process they would normally undergo in a woman’s body. Once matured, eggs are attempted to be fertilized, and, if successful, resulting embryos are transferred back to the uterus.


The study authors discovered, that in women with low functional ovarian reserve – who usually produce very low egg numbers – 1.5 additional embryos were available for transfer following utilization of this technique, a 60% increase. Having more embryos available for transfer, means better pregnancy chances. The 1.5 additional embryos may sound like a small difference, but for women with low functional ovarian reserve, this small difference can determine whether they  will be pregnant or have to repeat an IVF cycle. In contrast, if performed in women with well functioning ovaries and, therefore, larger egg/embryo production, this technique increased embryo numbers by only 16.5%


About The Center for Human Reproduction

The Center for Human Reproduction (CHR), located in New York City, is one of the world’s leading clinical and research centers in reproductive medicine and infertility. CHR has special expertise in treating women with low functional ovarian reserve, and pioneered many innovations that have become mainstays of infertility treatments worldwide. The study’s authors are available for further comments. Contact: 212-994-4400 x.4492

Norbert Gleicher, MD, leads CHR’s clinical and research efforts as Medical Director and Chief Scientist. A world-renowned reproductive endocrinologist, Dr. Gleicher has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers and lectured globally while keeping an active clinical career focused on ovarian aging, immunological issues and other difficult cases of infertility.