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Fresh embryo transfer versus freeze-only after in vitro maturation with a pre-maturation step in women with high antral follicle count: a randomized controlled pilot study

Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics 2021, 38, 1293–1302 – 2021-04-06

Lan N. Vuong1,2, Linh K. Nguyen2, Anh H. Le2, Huy H. Pham2, Vu NA. Ho2, Ho L. Le2, Toan D. Pham2, Vinh Q. Dang2, Tuan H. Phung2, Joha Smitz3, Tuong M. Ho2

Published: 06 April 2021

Author information

  1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City, 217 Hong Bang Street, District 5, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  2. IVFMD, My Duc Hospital and HOPE Research Center, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  3. Follicle Biology Laboratory, Free University of Brussels (VUB), Brussels, Belgium



In vitro maturation (IVM) is an alternative to in vitro fertilization (IVF) for women at high risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). This study determined the effectiveness and safety of a freeze-only strategy versus fresh embryo transfer (ET) after IVM with a pre-maturation step (CAPA-IVM) in women with a high antral follicle count (AFC).
This randomized, controlled pilot study (NCT04297553) was conducted between March and November 2020. Forty women aged 18–37 years with a high AFC (≥24 follicles in both ovaries) undergoing one cycle of CAPA-IVM were randomized to a freeze-only strategy with subsequent frozen ET (n = 20) or to fresh ET (n = 20). The primary endpoint was ongoing pregnancy resulting in live birth after the first ET of the started treatment cycle.
The ongoing pregnancy rate in the freeze-only group (65%) was significantly higher than that in the fresh ET group (25%; p = 0.03), as was the live birth rate (60% versus 20%; p = 0.02). Clinical pregnancy rate was numerically, but not significantly, higher after frozen versus fresh ET (70% versus 35%; p = 0.06), while the number of day 3 or good quality embryos, endometrial thickness on the day of oocyte pick-up, implantation rate, and positive pregnancy test rate did not differ significantly between groups. No cases of OHSS were observed, and miscarriage and multiple pregnancy rates were similar in the two groups.
These findings suggest that the effectiveness of CAPA-IVM could be improved considerably by using a freeze-only strategy followed by frozen ET in subsequent cycles.
Trial registration number:
NCT04297553 (


In vitro maturation, Frozen embryo transfer, Fresh embryo transfer, Infertility, Ongoing pregnancy, Live birth, Polycystic ovary syndrome