Treatment of severe male-factor infertility with high concentrations of motile sperm by microinsemination in embryo cryopreservation straws

Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

J In Vitro Fert Embryo Transf

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer

PubMed ID



A microinsemination technique was evaluated for treating our program's most severe cases of male-factor infertility. Oocytes were inseminated with high concentrations of motile sperm (1 to 9 x 10(6)/ml) in 10 to 150 microliters within embryo cryopreservation straws. Fertilization was obtained in 20 of 29 (69%) couples treated by this technique. In the 15 patients in which only embryos generated from the straw technique were transferred, 7 clinical pregnancies resulted (46.7% per transfer). The implantation rate for couples receiving embryos from the straw technique only (12/58; 20.7%) compared favorably to that observed for other cases treated during this same time period with regular insemination techniques (111/766; 14.5%). Clinical pregnancy rates per transfer for IVF-ET, TET, and PROST were 33.0% (1/3), 0% (0/2), and 60.0% (6/10), respectively. The percentage of polyploidic embryos was significantly lower (P less than 0.0001) for male-factor patients treated by the straw technique with high sperm concentrations than for non-male-factor patients treated during this same time period with standard sperm concentrations. Normal births have resulted from straw inseminations with 3.4 x 10(6) and ongoing pregnancies with 5.0 x 10(6) motile sperm/ml. The results of this study suggest that some cases of male-factor infertility can be successfully treated by insemination with high concentrations of motile sperm in embryo cryopreservation straws. A technique of centrifuging sperm in straws was also developed to concentrate the entire fraction of washed sperm into 10 microliters. Further development of this technique may allow treatment of more severe cases of oligo/asthenospermia by microinsemination with high concentrations of motile sperm than is presently possible with standard washing techniques.


Adult, Cell Count, Cell Separation, Cryopreservation, Embryo Transfer, Female, Fertilization in Vitro/methods, Humans, Infertility, Male/pathology, Male, Middle Aged, Sperm Motility, Spermatozoa/pathology

Published Article/Book Citation

Journal of in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer, 8:2 (1991) pp.101-110.

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