When your ability to get pregnant is hampered by low count or poor-quality sperm, you have options to optimize fertilization. Physiological intracytoplasmic sperm injections increases the chances of successful fertilization by allowing the embryologist to select the highest quality, most mature sperm.
In order to fertilize the egg, the sperm must penetrate the cervical mucus. This is a natural barrier which excludes immature and functionally deficient sperm from fertilizing the egg. Hyaluronic acid is a major component in this barrier. Only the sperm that carries a hyaluronan specific receptor can bind and penetrate the barrier of the egg. PICSI mimics this encounter to increase the possibility of fertilization.
The PICSI Process
The PICSI technique is more involved that intracytoplasmic sperm injection in that only the best sperm are chosen for the fertilization process. The sperm are put in hyaluronan (HA) hydrogel in the lab. Those that bind to the HA are then selected by the embryologist for ICSI.
According to research, these sperm are most likely to result in better embryo development. Those sperm that bond to the HA have greater maturity and improved DNA integrity. They also are most likely to have a normal chromosomal complement. These factors indicate an increased chance of higher quality embryos for selection and implantation in the uterus.
While ICSI can be effective in fertilizing eggs for implantation, studies have shown that early pregnancy loss can be associated with compromised sperm during the process. PICSI ensures that only the healthiest sperm are allowed to fertilize the egg.
Who May Benefit from PICSI?
This technique is not recommended for all patients. The process requires more handling and increased environmental exposure of the eggs. Patients who produce sperm samples with compromised HA binding are likely candidates for the procedure.
PICSI may be recommend for these patients:
- Previous recurrent miscarriage
- Males with known high DNA fragmentation
- Previous poor fertilization with ICSI
- Poor embryo development between days 3 and 5.
Your fertility doctor will make a determination regarding your suitability for this procedure. At Neway Fertility, we provide options for those who wish to have a child but have had challenges. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation appointment, and discover the ways in which we can help you achieve your dreams of building your family.