Embryology

Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) involves selecting and injecting a single sperm into an egg directly in order to fertilise it. The embryo is then cucltured for 2 to 5 days and then transferred to the woman's womb.

The major advance that ICSI offers to IVF, is that as long as some sperm can be obtained (even in very low sperm count numbers), fertilisation is possible.

The sperm selection method comprises the morphological examination of the sperm with high resolution microscopy approximately 5 times better than the one used until today.

The specific EmbryoScopeTM system consists of a special furnace with high precision conditions so that the embryos grow in the best possible environment. Furthermore, it is connected to a sensitive camera system that records the continuous process of the embryo. The amount of light passing through the embryos when photographed is taken into account so that it is minimized and their development is not affected.  

In recent years, technological advances in the embryology laboratory enabled the extension of the stay of embryos in the laboratory environment to the 5th - 6th day.

The potential advantages of the embryo transfer on day 5 are plenty.

Sperm freezing is usually done in order to:

The embryo development using cryopreserved oocytes through the vitrification technique is equally effective to that of the embryos derived from fresh ova. The oocyte cryopreservation is of great importance in the assisted reproduction, especially in cases in which it is almost imperative as in egg donation programs, in case of sperm absence from the husband, as well as in cases of cancer treatment and preservation of fertility due to increased age.