A maxim in any assisted human reproduction treatment is: get things as close to a natural pregnancy as possible. We understand the importance of selecting the best sperm, eggs and embryos and enlist numerous technical advances to ensure the utmost professionalism and care. In the case of PICSI, also referred to as physiological ICSI, spermatozoa with the greatest maturity and therefore capability of fertilisation are selected.
PICSI (Physiological Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) addresses male infertility in couples attempting to become pregnant.
Among the most innovative treatments available, PICSI has certain advantages when compared to similar techniques such as ICSI. Objectively, there are no better solutions while its effectiveness addresses specific issues and circumstances. It is therefore essential to entrust in those of us with expertise when seeking advice on such matters.
ICSI – Sperm Selection in in vitro fertilisation (IVF)
In vitro fertilisation is an assisted human reproduction treatment which is a proven solution for even the most complex cases of infertility and owes such success to being tailored to the requirements or difficulties of each couple.
Whether genetic material originates from a partner or donor, IVF aims to ensure the quality of both eggs and sperm. The latter of the two, until as of late, has been selected by assessment and examination of spermatozoa morphology and capacity applied to scientific standards. While this was a subjective technique, PICSI has since complimented and improved traditional spermatozoa selection procedures and can increase success rate per centage by at least 25%.
PICSI Technique Procedure
PICSI is normally considered after verifying alternative systems have been unable to run a complete selection of ideal spermatozoa for in vitro fertilisation. The difference between PICSI methodlogy in comparison to other leading techniques is it can determine maturity of spermatozoa and the degree of maturity which are both essential to positive results.
Hyaluronic acid, one of the substances present in cells which naturally surround the egg is what makes PICSI so innovative within spermatozoa selection procedures. When a spermatozoon has sufficiently matured, it is capable of binding to the hyaluronic acid.
The sperm sample is placed on a plate with a hyaluronic acid hydrogel. Spermatozoa which continue to move freely are the immature, while those that remain fixed in hyaluronic acid are the most mature. PICSI also can reveal spermatozoa with fewer DNA fragmentation, regular nuclear morphology and fewer chromosomal aneuploidies.
PICSI is natural selection technique which does not require any form of intervention. Once the two types of sperm have been differentiated between, the mature spermatozoa are collected.
Ending with the absorption of mature spermatozoon with an intracytoplasmic microinjection pipette, this final step is identical to conventional ICSI. As an in vitro fertilisation methodology which requires just a singular spermatozoon, it can be introduced directly to the egg.
The prior objective selection of quality spermatozoon and later direct implantation into the female gamete are two factors which make PICSI both a highly sophisticated and precise technique which yields higher success rates.
In which patients is the PICSI technique indicated?
Sufficient data is not yet available to determine who are ideal candidates for the treatment as PICSI is a relatively new procedure, while it is an approach worth considering should ICSI have previously resulted in low quality embryos.
Generally speaking, considered candidates can be:
- Any man diagnosed with particularly low sperm quality.
- Sperm holders with a higher degree of DNA fragmentation than normal.
- Couples who have suffered miscarriages after attempts to complete in vitro fertilisation without a specific cause having been determined, and even more so if medical analysis suggests difficulties are attributed to the male counterpart.
Advantages of the PICSI technique
ICPI is distinguished from other spermatozoa selection methodologies as it is based on objective data rather than observation, and as a result, yields a higher success rate. The risk of suffering a miscarriage – which can be one of the hardest and most delicate moments for any woman – are also reduced.
Testing the effectiveness of ICPD is, at present, a possibility restricted to only advanced centres in the field of assisted human reproduction treatments. It is likely that not all specialists have discussed such treatment, not because its effectiveness is in question, but because it is so new it has yet to have been incorporated into procedures offered.
Being able to perform PICSI as one of our treatments further underlines our commitment to couples suffering from infertility problems. Tailored solutions therefore exist to whatever a patient’s requirements may be and just requires greater information on the matter.