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This is a special culture medium that contains natural growth factors. This additive may be beneficial for embryos from women who have already experienced miscarriages or biochemical pregnancy (an extended cycle where the embryo makes contact with the endometrium but the pregnancy does not continue). It can also be indicated in some cases where the repeated transfer of normally developed embryos has not led to pregnancy.
The processing of the ejaculate for assisted reproduction techniques aims to enrich mostly motile and DNA-intact sperm. The conventional preparation method uses centrifugation, which exposes the sperm cells to physical stress, which, in turn, may be detrimental and lead to DNA damage.
The separation of sperm cells from the ejaculate using the novel ZyMot chamber, however, aims to imitate the natural barriers of the cervical and uterine pathway for the sperm to overcome. This gentle procedure results in the accumulation of motile and DNA-intact sperm available for fertilization.
Occasionally, semen can contain a high proportion of immature sperm or sperm with a high DNA fragmentation index (see SDI test). To prevent such sperm from being used for ICSI, mature and DNA-intact sperm are selected by binding to hyaluronic acid. This binding is comparable to the process that naturally takes place at the zona pellucida. Thus the development potential of the resulting embryos is improved.
Even after the use of ICSI, egg fertilisation rate may be very low or absent. In some cases, this problem can be overcome in the next cycle with the use of calcium ionophore. This causes changes in the calcium levels of the injected egg cell, corresponding to those that occur during the normal fertilisation process. This can result in an improved fertilisation rate.