In Vitro Activation of Follicles and Fresh Tissue Auto-transplantation in Primary Ovarian Insufficiency Patients

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2016 Nov;101(11):4405-4412. doi: 10.1210/jc.2016-1589. Epub 2016 Aug 29.


Context: Recently, two patients with primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) delivered healthy babies after in vitro activation (IVA) treatment followed by auto-transplantation of frozen-thawed ovarian tissues.

Objective: This study sought to report the first case of live birth after IVA treatment following fresh ovarian tissue grafting in patients with POI, together with monitoring of follicle development and serum hormonal changes.

Design: This was a prospective observational cohort study.

Setting: We performed IVA treatment in 14 patients with POI with mean age of 29 years, mean duration since last menses of 3.8 years, and average basal FSH level of 94.5 mIU/mL.

Interventions: Prior to IVA treatment, all patients received routine hormonal treatments with no follicle development. We removed one ovary from patients with POI and treated them with Akt stimulators. We improved upon early procedures by grafting back fresh tissues using a simplified protocol.

Main outcome measures: In six of the 14 patients (43%), a total of 15 follicle development waves were detected, and four patients had successful oocyte retrieval to yield six oocytes. For two patients showing no spontaneous follicle growth, human menopausal gonadotropin treatment induced follicle growth at 6-8 months after grafting. After vitro fertilization of oocyte retrieved, four early embryos were derived. Following embryo transfer, one patient became pregnant and delivered a healthy baby boy, with three other embryos under cryopreservation.

Conclusion: IVA technology can effectively activate residual follicles in some patients with POI and allow them to conceive their own genetic offspring. IVA may also be useful for treating patients with ovarian dysfunction including aging women and cancer survivors.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Embryo Transfer / methods*
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Oocyte Retrieval / methods*
  • Organ Transplantation
  • Ovarian Follicle / drug effects*
  • Ovary / transplantation*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Primary Ovarian Insufficiency / surgery*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone