Sperm Chip (Fertile Plus)
IVF with Microchip Technology:
A Turkish doctor at Stanford University in the USA found the ‘microchip’ method as well as the departments of medicine, biological sciences, and engineering and created a source of hope for men.
The microchip method is a procedure that is effective in separating healthy and quality sperm suitable for fertilization by detecting DNA damage during the separation of sperm to fertilize the egg. Healthy/unhealthy, quality/poor-quality sperm are separated from each other through this method. Healthy and quality sperm separated by the ICSI method is fertilized with the eggs of the future mother and thus, the chances of our future mothers getting pregnant are increased.
The chance of embryos composed of eggs fertilized by sperm with quality and healthy DNA separated by the microchip method to adhere to the uterus increases slightly. Infertility is mainly caused by three main factors. These factors are egg cells, sperm, and uterine or ovarian problems in the female reproductive system. There are also other factors, such as immune system problems, infectious diseases, or environmental conditions. However, the incidence of these problems is relatively low compared to the basic factors. Male causes of infertility are as common as in women in couples who cannot have babies. Studies show that male infertility and female infertility cases are in similar numbers. Therefore, studies on IVF treatment have contributed to the development of methods such as sperm chip and Fertile Plus together in microchip assisted treatments.
What is the microchip method in IVF treatment?
The most important element in successful IVF treatment is the ability to obtain quality egg cells and quality sperm cells. Thus, healthy embryos may be formed and the chance of pregnancy may increase to a high rate. In the classic IVF method, sperm extracted from the male is kept in the same environment as egg cells, or fertilization is achieved by transferring sperm to each egg cell in the microinjection procedure. However, if the desired yield cannot be obtained from the sperm, it may be necessary to separate the spermatozoa with the highest fertilization ability. In this case, the microchip method may be applied.
The microchip method is a study that allows the separation of the highest quality sperm from the semen sample. Low sperm count, presence of DNA damage in sperm increase the likelihood of healthy embryos even if their morphological characteristics are not sufficient.
What should be the sperm count in men? You may want to take a look at this content: What should be the sperm count in men?
Under what conditions is the Microchip Method Preferred?
Microchips are usually recommended when the sperm count in men is low or when there is an ‘infertility’ stemming from men. We do not recommend the use of microchips in cases where sperm is obtained from the testicles by methods such as TESE/TESA. Azoospermia (that is, people without any sperm) is not suitable for the microchip method. It was observed that IVF success rates increased significantly with the introduction of the microchip method. The microchip method is applied with the latest technological processes in our center.
Let’s take a look here: What is MicroTESE (TESE-TESA), how is it administered?
What is a sperm chip in IVF?
The sperm chip developed to separate unhealthy sperm from others is a small device developed using microchannels. These microchannels are used in conjunction with culture fluid to provide a natural environment for sperm. From the sperm contained in the chip, only cells with sufficient mobility and shape can reach the other end. The biggest advantage of the sperm chip method is that it is applied without the use of any external factors or chemicals. Thus, a flow is established just as in the natural process and this does not create any stress factor on sperm. This method gives an effective result especially on men with poor sperm motility and morphology. It is also useful in preventing the transfer of genetic defects in the sperm to the embryo.
What is Fertile Plus in IVF?
Fertile Plus is one of the microchip methods applied in IVF. It is used to separate quality sperm from other sperm without using any methods that may harm sperm, such as centrifugation or mixing, in the laboratory environment. As a result of the procedure, sperm with sufficient morphological, genetic, and physiological characteristics for fertilization is reached. Fertile Plus is designed in a similar way to the female reproductive system. Only the good spermatozoa that are placed at the entry area may reach the exit area. Produced from bioluminous material, Fertile Plus is sterile and reliable as it is designed for single use. Healthy sperm obtained with Fertile Plus was found to have 2 times more vitality, 1.5 times more speed, and 2 times more motility than other spermatozoa.
How are sperm chip and Fertile Plus methods applied?
There are many tests that need for both men and women before IVF treatment stages are initiated. The fertility specialist may recommend the application of sperm chip or fertile plus method if it is determined as a result of semen analysis that the sperm of the male does not have the qualities to form a healthy embryo. As a result of these methods applied by embryologists, the success percentage will be higher than classical IVF procedures.