New technique increases chance of assisted pregnancy

January 3rd, 2009 - 6:45 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) Giving new hope to couples unable to conceive naturally, a new technique that allows the doctors to choose good sperms from males with low sperm count and is likely to better the chances of pregnancy for such couples was launched in the capital Saturday. Couples, who face difficulty in conceiving naturally, switch to in vitro fertilisation (IVF). In most of the cases, doctors use the husband’s sperm to fertilise the wife’s egg. But in a few cases where the sperm count is low, doctors use a medical microscope attached to the computer to select good sperms.

The technique - Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI) - launched for the first time in north India at the Fortis La Femme hospital, helps the doctor to view sperm magnified 7,200 times as compared to conventional one where the magnification is just 200 times.

“A large number of IVF procedures faces failure risk due to males having a low sperm count. If the sperm count is lower then required, the IMSI is administered. In this, sperms are magnified 7,200 times which gives us the option to choose the good sperms from the bad ones,” said Hrishikesh Pai, a fertility expert at the hospital.

The technique, earlier only available at Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, is being offered as an add-on facility to couples undergoing IVF in the hospital. The hospital charges Rs.125,000 for an IVF package.

“The technique allows the doctors to carefully select the best quality sperm by magnifying it many times more from patients with severely low sperm counts, thus increasing the chances of pregnancy among such couples,” Pai said.

According to him, the success rate of IMSI was higher compared to the conventional techniques but could vary among different age groups.

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