Treatment variables in relation to oocyte maturation: Lessons from a clinical micromanipulation-assisted in vitro fertilization program

Ori M. Avrech, Gil A. Goldman, Onit Rufas, Anat Stein, Shoshana Amit, Israel Yoles, Haim Pinkas, Benjamin Fisch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: In an effort to understand the mechanism underlying the improved pregnancy rate observed in IVF cycles when gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues (GnRH-a) are applied, we investigated a possible relationship between treatment variables and oocyte nuclear maturity. Design: Nuclear maturity was retrospectively assessed in cumulus-free, denuded oocytes, obtained from women undergoing micromanipulation-assisted IVF treatment following controlled ovarian hyperstimulation with GnRH-a and menotropins. Setting: The setting was the infertility and IVF unit of a tertiary academic medical center. Participants: Two hundred twenty-one patients underwent 435 treatment cycles. Main Outcome Measure: This was the proportion of germinal vesicle-intact immature (GVII) oocytes. Results: One hundred fifty-four of the 3520 oocytes studied (4.4%) were in the GVII stage. These oocytes were found in 66 of the treatment cycles (15.2%) and in 54 of the patients (24.4%). Cycles in which GVII oocytes were detected did not differ from those in which all the aspirated oocytes were mature in the following respects: patient age, type and duration of infertility, controlled ovarian hyperstimulation protocol and time of ovum pickup. However, the GVII group was characterized by a significantly higher peak estradiol level, as well as a higher number of mature follicles visualized sonographically (diameter, >14 mm) and oocytes retrieved. Conclusions: Comparing the present findings with previously published data, it appears that the inclusion of GnRH-a in the stimulation regimen is associated with a lower proportion of immature oocytes. A higher occurrence of oocyte-nuclear immaturity is apparently associated with a significantly better ovarian response to stimulation. The high incidence of immature oocytes observed in patients with normospermic partners and low fertilization rates in previous cycles may suggest that the fertilization failure in some of these cases is due to oocyte, rather than sperm, dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)337-342
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Gonadotropin releasing hormone analogues
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Oocyte maturation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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