Not withstanding the high IVF success rate in India, manytimes where even multiple rounds of IVF do not bear fruit. However, innovations in the field of IVF have given birth to a slew of techniques that can be used to improve the chances of conception for couples who have suffered multiple IVF failure. IMSI treatment, or Intracytoplasmic Morphologically selected Sperm Injection, is one such technique. As it is offered as part of the normal IVF protocol, its expense is only marginally higher than the IVF treatment cost in India.
What is IMSI Treatment?
A fertility clinic in India that offers ICSI, Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection, usually also offers IMSI as the latter is a technique that builds upon the benefits of the former. So while an egg is injected with a sperm in ICSI, IMSI refines that process further by carefully selecting the best sperm before injecting it into an egg.
IMSI is made possible by the use of a high power microscope that is capable of magnifying an image by over 6,000 times or even more. With such a high level of magnification, the embryologist is able to detect minute structural variations in the sperm of a semen sample that would have otherwise not been visible with a normal microscope. After carefully sifting through the sample, the embryologist chooses a morphologically fit sperm for injecting into the egg.
Once the most viable sperm has been isolated, the IMSI treatment follows the exact same procedure as ICSI.
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Why is IMSI Treatment Performed
The IMSI procedure enables embryologists to prevent structurally deficient or abnormal sperm from entering an egg and fertilizing it. The procedure is also favourable for men who have a higher than normal amount of abnormal sperm in their semen. IMSI is also preferred who haven’t had success with previous IVF-ICSI attempts. In such cases, an IMSI IVF process acts as an enhanced selection mechanism that can possibly increase the chances of fertilization and normal embryo growth.
As mentioned above in IMSI, the sperm sample of the male partner is magnified up to 6,000 times. That allows embryologists to identify and exclude sperm that shows any kind of structural abnormalities. Compare this to traditional techniques of selecting sperms, the embryologist observing sperms at just 400 times magnification.
When is IMSI Recommended?
IMSI is recommended under the following conditions,
- The male partner’s sperm count is very low
- The semen sample contains higher than normal levels of abnormally shaped cells
- Previous outcomes of ICSI treatment have been negative
If IMSI is successful, the resulting embryo can be transferred to the intending mother’s womb. Sometimes, the mother is not fit to sustain a pregnancy. In that scenario, Surrogacy treatment at best surrogacy hospital in India is the way to go.
Dr Pranay Shah
Director and Chief Fertility Consultant
Dr. Divyesh Bhalodia
Counseller and Communicator
Dr. Dhruti Maheshwari
What Are The Success Rates & Cost of IMSI?
IMSI involves micro-injecting only morphologically best sperm into an egg. Therefore, IMSI success rate is believed to be higher than conventional ICSI. However, the success rate also greatly varies on a case by case basis. The IMSI Treatment cost similarly is higher than that of ICSI. However, the increase in cost is only incremental.
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