November 21, 2011
Fox 31 News
By: Kim Posey
DENVER — Many couples facing fertility issues consider In Vitro Fertilization, but it’s expensive, and it requires women to give themselves shots leading up to the procedure.
But now there is an alternative to IVF that costs thousands of dollars less, and requires no shots. It’s called IVM, or In Vitro Maturation. There are some basic differences. During IVF women take a series of expensive shots to grow the eggs in the ovaries. Doctors retrieve “mature” eggs, fertilize them, and transfer the embryos.
In IVM, doctors extract younger eggs and let them mature in a petri dish. This change means women will save thousands of dollars on medications, and they don’t have to give themselves shots.
“It’s easier, it’s less time commitment, it’s less expense,” said Dr William Schoolcraft, the Medical Director at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine. He says pregnancy rates with IVM are around 40% per cycle, that’s compared to 65 percent with traditional IVF. But the treatment is very new, and Dr. Schoolcraft expects it to be a game changer in about two years.
“It’s on the ground floor, but we think it’s going to improve quickly and gain popularity quickly,” Dr Schoolcraft said. The prime candidates for IVM are women who have been diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome, and run the risk of medical complications during IVF.
The cost of IVM is about $10,000 to $12,000, compared to $15,000 for traditional IVF. IVM is offered at the Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine. Most insurance companies do not cover the expense.