Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI)

Definition - What does Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI) mean?

Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) is a procedure in which sperm is examined under an extremely high power microscope to assess the appearance of its inner structures. It may be offered to men with fertility issues due to a problem with the sperm.

FertilitySmarts explains Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI)

IMSI is a technique used in combination with in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). This method allows embryologists to closely examine collected sperm under a digital microscope that offers 6000x magnification. Other microscopes only offer 200-400x magnification. This enhanced view allows embryologists to assess details in the morphology (structure) of the sperm. The extreme magnification enables them to detect tiny defects in the sperm head that would otherwise go unnoticed.

Sperm with defects would be less likely to successfully fertilize an egg that could later implant in the uterine wall. Therefore, IMSI is a tool used to select the best sperm for ICSI.

IMSI is believed to improve pregnancy rates and reduce instances of miscarriage. It may be recommended to people experiencing recurrent implantation failure, recurrent ICSI failure, or severe teratospermia (sperm shape abnormalities).

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