When it comes to assisted reproduction there are a lot of factors that affect the capability of the fertilization of the eggs and the development of the embryo. The integrity of the genetic material (DNA) of the spermatozoa is one of the most important factors of the fertilization and of the outcome of the pregnancy in the case of assisted reproduction.
WHAT IS THE ΙΜSI & PICSI MICROFERTILIZATION?
The technique of IMSI & PICSI is one of the most advanced techniques in assisted reproduction for the treatment of men infertility and it completes the microfertilization ICSI. This technique is a spermatozoa selection method based on high resolution microscopy that allows for the adequate magnification of the spermatozoa. That is possible with the use of a special electronic microscope that provides us with a far greater magnification (approximately 6000 times) compared to the one provided until now (200 times) by the ICSI technique. This higher percentage of magnification allows for a detailed representation of the sperm head and a better assessment of the possible damages of the DNA it contains. This way the selection of spermatozoa that demonstrate abnormalities and can endanger the successful completion of the therapy - such are, for example, the spermatozoa with cytoplasmic vacuoles - can be avoided. This technique allows for a beforehand selection of spermatozoa, prior to the microfertilization, where only the best of the spermatozoa are used. Before the microfertilization, the PICSI method allows for the spermatozoa to be inspected as follows: They are placed on a special Petri dish which has a special coating of hyaluronic acid. Only the best of the spermatozoa are attached on this layer and are selected by the embryologists.
WHEN IS THE IMSI & PICSI MICROFERTILIZATION APPLIED?
The IMSI technique is recommended mostly for men over the age of 35 or ones that have a high percentage of morphologically abnormal spermatozoa. It is also recommended for couples that have:
- A history of low fertilization after ICSI microfertilization.
- A history of repeated abortion / biochemical pregnancies.
- A history of multiple failed implantations after in vitro fertilizations.
The PICSI technique is recommended when high percentages of male infertility are diagnosed and the use of microfertilization (ICSI) is deemed necessary, in addition to an observed high percentage of sperm fragmentation (DFI).
SUCCESS RATES OF THE IMSI & PICSI MICROFERTILIZATION
According to the international bibliography, the use of the IMSI & PICSI techniques presents us with a clear advantage in the success of a clinical pregnancy as opposed to ICSI microfertilization. Specifically, their use has been related to a better embryo quality, with a higher percentage of embryos to reach the blastocyst stage, higher percentages of clinical pregnancies as well as lower percentages of abortions. They are also more likely to lead to a multiple pregnancy (twins or triplets) in comparison to the ICSI technique.
As the solitary disadvantage of these techniques we can mention that they are subsequently more expensive than the ICSI technique, due to the specially trained personnel and the more expensive equipment that is needed for them to be implemented.