Sperm Processing for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Sperm washing is the process which prepares a semen sample for an intrauterine insemination (IUI). For an IUI to be performed, the semen sample must be washed free of debris, white blood cells, and prostaglandins, which can cause the uterus to contract. The processing also removes dead sperm and concentrates the sperm into a small volume which can easily be handled by the uterus.
The semen sample is processed by washing, centrifugation and migration. A suitable culture medium is used. The final migration is done under stringent culture conditions using CO2 incubation. The spermatozoa thus obtained are free of debris and bacteria, are energetic and improve the success rates of intrauterine insemination. We have a special room with privacy for semen collection. We also prepare the enriched sample for other clinics so that they can perform the insemination in their clinic. Women with ovulatory dysfunction, treated endometriosis with patent tubes, luteal phase defects, cervical factor infertility and polycystic ovarian disease can try IUI first before trying the more advanced techniques of assisted reproduction. Men with slightly compromised semen analysis parameters can benefit from IUI.
Magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS) is used to provide a high-quality sperm fraction and as sperm preparation technique prior to assisted reproduction. Separating a distinctive population of non-apoptotic spermatozoa with intact membranes and subjecting it to IVF or ICSI is a step further in optimizing the outcome of assisted reproduction.