What is IMSI?
Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI) is a non-invasive sperm selection process used during the ICSI procedure. IMSI uses a high powered lens to look at sperm under very high magnification and allows the embryologists to see greater detail during the sperm selection process.
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 both the egg and the sperm. If sperm have abnormalities they can still create an embryos but these are unlikely to implant or may result in an early miscarriage.
Some sperm abnormalities can be identified using a microscope which magnifies up to x400. With IMSI the magnification is up to x6000, which enables the embryologists to see more accurately abnormalities in the head of the sperm. By selecting sperm without abnormalities, the chance of creating better quality embryos is higher.
There have been several studies within the last decade that suggest that IMSI could be beneficial in specific situations such as previously failed ICSI attempts. However the research suggests that IMSI only helps certain groups of patients and should not replace standard ICSI. For more information, please see the HFEA website or speak to a member of staff.
Cases where IMSI may be recommended
- A high number of abnormal sperm are found in a semen analysis
- Repeated unsuccessful ICSI cycles
- History of recurrent miscarriages
- Poor quality embryos formed in previous cycles