Insemination

Patients that have not been able to achieve fertilisation with conventional/natural insemination or whose sperm count is extremely low, and therefore not appropriate for conventional/natural insemination, can have eggs inseminated using an insemination method called ICSI. ICSI involves selecting and immobilising a single sperm and then injecting the sperm directly into the egg.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Only mature eggs can be inseminated. We know the eggs are mature as they have a small cell that sits between the shell, the zona pellucida, and the egg itself.  This cell is called the polar body and contains half the genetic material of the egg.

Even though a sperm is deposited directly into the egg this does not mean that fertilisation is guaranteed. ICSI bypasses the physical barriers between the sperm and the egg however we still need the sperm to be able to initiate fertilisation when placed in the egg and we need the egg to be receptive.

Sperm Selection Methods:

HA Sperm Selection:HA Sperm selection with ICSI can be enhanced by using a substance called SpermSlow. SpermSlow is a viscous solution containing hyaluronan (HA) that slows the sperm and the embryologists can select the one that responds to the solution.

Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI) also allows for sperm selection using a magnification of greater than x6000. At this magnification, any sperm head defects, vacuoles or any visible abnormalities.

Polarised Light Egg Visualisation: We can also visualise at the time of ICSI the inside of the egg and the shell of the egg to gain more information about the egg and maybe give insight to its behaviour if poor results have been achieved previously.

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