Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI)

IMSI is a new technique that allows a better selection of the sperm that is going to be micro-injected. It uses ultra-high magnification to allow greater visualisation of the structure of the sperm. IMSI is suitable for patients with recurrent miscarriage or those where sperm morphology is particularly poor. The technique is identical to the ICSI procedure, the only difference being the way the sperm are chosen. IMSI is the latest development for male factor infertility.

Why IMSI can help?

Achieving a healthy pregnancy is hugely dependent on the quality of the human embryo. The quality of an embryo is a product of the quality of the egg and the quality of the sperm that fertilises the egg. Many sperm and eggs have abnormalities that can create an embryo which is unlikely to implant and become a successful pregnancy.

Some sperm abnormalities can be identified using a normal microscope which magnifies 200 – 400 times. With IMSI a microscope is used that can magnify up to 6000 times. This allows embryologists to see any abnormalities in the head of the sperm. By selecting sperm without abnormalities, the chance of creating better quality embryos is improved. This should hopefully result in a higher chance of pregnancy and lower chance of miscarriage for the patient.

Why IMSI can help?

The doctor will decide whether you are eligible for IMSI if you meet any one of the below criteria:

  • • The male partner is over 35.
  • • Two failed ICSI cycles.
  • • Three failed IVF cycles.
  • • Over 90% abnormal forms in sperm.
  • • Only if the patient has sufficient motile sperm for selection.

Please note that even if you meet one of these criteria, you may be excluded if there are insufficient numbers of motile sperm in the sample on the day of egg collection. If this occurs on the day of egg collection, your doctor will discuss the implications with you.

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