To ascertain the value of using immature oocytes in an intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) program, the authors designed a schedule, at 5 p.m. on day 1 (the day of oocyte retrieval) and at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on day 2, to recognize and inject the in vitro matured (IVM) oocytes. For the 1166 oocytes retrieved in 107 ICSI cycles, 128 (11.0%) were at the stage of metaphase I (MI) and 113 (9.7%) at germinal vesicle. Routine ICSI for metaphase II oocytes was performed at 2 p.m. on day 1 (initial ICSI). In culture medium of human tubal fluid with 15% maternal serum, 85.1% (205/241) immature oocytes progressed to maturation in which 16.4% (21/128) of MI oocytes matured at 5 p.m. of day 1. The rate of normal fertilization for IVM oocytes (58.5%) was not significantly different from that of initial ICSI (64.0%). One patient received a transfer of two fertilized IVM oocytes alone that were injected at 5 p.m. of day 1, maturing from the MI stage, and achieved a normal pregnancy. The fertilized IVM oocytes were replaced along with the embryos from initial ICSI for 40 cycles that led to 14 (35%) clinical pregnancies. In 43 fertilized IVM oocytes donated for research, we observed that cleavage (95.3%) to the 2- to 4-cell stage was not distinct from that of initial ICSI (94.6%); however, the percentage of embryos of grade I and II morphology was significantly smaller (24.4% vs. 62.5%). Only five (11.6%) developed to blastocysts in vitro. Twenty-one fertilized IVM oocytes were frozen for future transfer. A schedule to inject IVM oocytes in ICSI cycles may generate more accessible embryos for fresh transfer or cryopreservation to increase the chance of pregnancy, although the embryo quality was relatively poor.
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