In Vitro Activation: A Dip Into the Primordial Follicle Pool?

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A current limitation of assisted reproduction is the number of available female gametes. This Commentary discusses in vitro activation (IVA), a technique that activates dormant ovarian follicles so that these follicles can become mature oocytes for fertilization. There is considerable evidence that mechanical signaling plays an important role in oocyte maturation and survival; manipulation of the mechanical environment is a key component of the IVA process. IVA acts on existing follicles and does not promote neo-oogenesis, which likely contributes little to the primordial follicle pool in the adult.


Several women with primary ovarian insufficiency who underwent the IVA procedure have achieved live births. IVA might also be applicable to women with pathological diminished ovarian reserve and those with physiological diminished reserve due to natural aging. Cancer patients with cryopreserved ovarian tissue also might benefit from IVA. Based on future studies, IVA could prove to be a revolutionary tool for assisted reproduction.

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