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IVF is an artificial reproduction technique (ART) used to treat infertility in either partner. IMSI i.e. Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection is a newly developed technique in In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatments. In IMSI, healthy sperms are selected using a high magnification digital imaging microscope. It is a fine tuned Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) treatment.
Egg collection follows the IVF protocol where the mother who wishes to be the pregnancy is prescribed infertility drugs during the month to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. The mature eggs are collected on the day of ovulation by an expert doctor using a fine needle under local anaesthesia under the guidance of ultrasound.
Sperm is collected either by self-ejaculation or by needle aspiration through the testis or epididymis.
The sperm sample is examined under a high magnification microscope by an expert doctor. The magnification power of the microscope is 6000 times. In traditional ICSI method, the microscope used has merely 400 times magnification, making IMSI a far superior technique. The high magnification in IMSI enables visualising the chromatin compaction defects i.e. the defects in the DNA of the sperm. These defects are seen as holes called 'vacuoles' in the nucleus of the sperm. A sperm which has least vacuoles is selected for injection into the egg. This selection helps to reduce chances of miscarriage and increase the chances of implantation of the embryo to ensure pregnancy.
The sperms selected in this manner are then used to fertilise the eggs. For fertilisation, a single, healthy sperm is injected into a single mature egg. The fertilised egg then forms an embryo within 2 days. This is carried out by an expert embryologist in a specialised lab under a completely controlled environment.
The 2-day old embryos are then implanted in the mother's womb (uterus) using a thin catheter that is passed through the cervix for the pregnancy to occur. The mother is discharged 2-6 days after this procedure. If implantation of the embryo in the wall of uterus succeeds, the pregnancy continues and a baby grows inside the womb. A pregnancy test can be taken 10-15 days after implantation to confirm the pregnancy.
For women under 40 years of age, 1-2 embryos are transplanted and for those above forty years, maximum of three embryos are implanted.
The sperm and egg are collected on the same day so both partners require being present at the clinic for the entire day. One cycle of IMSI lasts for about 4-6 weeks.
For whom is IMSI beneficial?
Pros and cons
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