The latest research by a team at Harvard University has developed a new technique for selecting which sperm to use in IVF treatment. The new technique would identify the sperm with high DNA integrity, allowing only the healthiest sperm to be used in IVF treatments.
Currently, semen is collected from the donor and the sperm is separated. The process of separating sperm from semen is known as 'sperm washing' and allows doctors to select individual sperm for the fertilization process. The success rates of IVF are high and when male infertility is a factor in the infertility, IVF with ICSI is often successful to produce fertilization.
IVF with ICSI is recommended for patients with low sperm count or low grade sperm to enhance the likelihood of fertilization. However, it is currently difficult for IVF specialists to determine which of the prepared sperm are the healthiest and most likely to fertilize the ovum. Despite the success rates of IVF with ICSI being higher than traditional IVF, many attempts still fail due to poor quality sperm cells. Using this research, IVF specialists would be able to avoid using low quality sperm.
The new technique analyzes sperm using biochemical markers. These markers show which sperm has a high number of healthy genetic cells, allowing doctors to recreate more closely natural fertilization where the ovum naturally selects the highest quality sperm.
This research could significantly boost the success rates of IVF and potentially reduce the cost as traditional IVF could be available to patients who would currently be recommended IVF with ICSI.
For more information about infertility treatments and overcoming male infertility, contact an infertility specialist.
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