What are the methods for selecting healthy sperm?
To get pregnant, you need to have healthy sperm. Leading participants in fertilization, sperm and eggs are important factors in terms of pregnancy. The choice of sperm to use in IVF or microinjection is also of great importance for the likelihood of pregnancy. Criteria such as sperm morphology and sperm maturity, as well as the absence of DNA damage, come to the fore.
In what situations is the selection of healthy sperm in the first place?
A substance called hyaluronan is one of the main components of the shell that surrounds a woman’s egg. The head of the spermatozoon, which is the male sex cell, contains detectors that allow it to bind to this substance. Immature spermatozoa cannot bind to the egg because these detectors do not have a recognition zone. Consequently, the success of fertilization also decreases. The amount of protein in sperm cells that do not attach to an egg is low, and DNA damage is also high. These DNA damages are directly related to fertilization and miscarriage.
In the PICSI method, healthy and mature spermatozoa are bound to a substance called hyalorunan. In traditional ICSI (microinjection) applications, spermatozoa are selected according to their shape and movement under the microscope. The PICSI method, on the other hand, is the method used in this step by selecting mature spermatozoa according to their hyaluronic acid binding properties.
2- MACS (MAGNETIC-ACTIVATED CELL SORTING)
With the sperm washing method, it is ensured that mature and healthy spermatozoa are selected from sperm obtained from the man. Unlike classical sperm washing methods, MACS method guarantees that spermatozoa that have passed through the magnetic field are selected as mature and without DNA damage.
Before the introduction of sperm into the egg by microinjection in IVF, mature spermatozoa with a normal chromosome ratio are selected using this washing method. With this method, the chance of conception is increased by obtaining higher quality embryos.
3- IMSI (INTRACYTOPLASMIC MORPHOLOGICALLY SELECTED SPERM INJECTION)
IMSI method is a method of selecting spermatozoa by magnifying a microscope on a large scale and performing a microinjection of that selected sperm. It is important that the sperm selected for microinjection be morphologically normal. The spermatozoa are enlarged and examined too much, and spermatozoa without shape problems are preferred. If an abnormality called a vacuole is visible in the head of a sperm cell, which cannot be seen with a normal microscope, the DNA that carries the genetic information can also be damaged, which, unfortunately, can lead to abnormal development of the embryo. IMSI reduces the chance that sperm containing damaged DNA will be introduced into the egg.