UK based couple Mr. and Mrs. Shah, aged 37 and 32 respectively, had borne the consequences of primary infertility for ten years after their marriage. According to test reports, Mrs. Shah had a good ovarian reserve. However, Mr. Shah had extremely poor sperm parameters. The couple had tried all possible treatments to help them overcome the inability to have a child, but none worked. Mr. and Mrs. Shah then decided to consult the experts at Nova IVF Fertility in Ahmedabad, India.
Consultation at Nova IVF Fertility
Mr. and Mrs. Shah were advised to undergo Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) at Nova. ICSI is a specialised form of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), primarily used for severe male infertility cases, involving the direct injection of a single sperm into a mature egg. Despite having a good number of mature eggs, the the 1st cycle was unsuccessful as fertilisation was poor. A 2nd cycle was attempted shortly after. This time MACS (Magnetic Activated Cell Sorting), an advanced ART technique, was also done for semen preparation.
What is MACS and when is it recommended?
MACS is a semen preparation technique that helps isolate young and undamaged sperms from the ones which are unhealthy and on the verge of death. Using these healthy sperms helps achieve better fertilisation and implantation rate and lower miscarriages. Factors like smoking, fever, varicocele, stress, etc. are seen to be responsible for the higher level of apoptotic spermatozoa found in the ejaculate.
MACS is recommended in cases where the sperm has high DNA fragmentation index, poor fertilisation rate in previous IVF-ICSI cycles and repeated miscarriages. MACS is also advised for patients with more than 2 failed IVF cycles with unexpected poor fertilisation and those who have had repeated miscarriages. This technique is known to significantly improve the success rates of ICSI and it has come as a huge relief for many couples as well as fertility experts.
Treatment and outcome
ICSI, in conjunction with MACS, helped achieve a fertilisation rate of 38.9%. 2 good grade embryos were transferred after 72 hours of pickup, and 3 extra embryos were cryopreserved. This ultimately resulted in pregnancy and after 9 months, the couple was blessed with a baby who became the first Nova baby born through MACS technology.
Just like Mr. and Mrs. Shah, nearly 10-15% of couples in the world today suffer from the inability to conceive naturally. Out of these, at least 40-45%, are reported as male infertility cases. Changing lifestyles, stressful work and personal environment, excessive alcohol consumption, drug abuse, tobacco use, and rising levels of obesity are among some of the factors, leading to a drastic rise in infertility.
Male factor accounts for 40-45% of all infertility cases
While male infertility is now as prominent as female infertility is, the advancements in medical sciences too have consistently improved over time. When male infertility is caused by poor quality sperms, modern technology allows us to look for and select the best and the healthiest sperm for ICSI thereby increasing the chances of pregnancy. Advanced ART technique like MACS helps improve the success rates of IVF.