What is IMSI?

Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) is a variation of ICSI that uses a higher-powered microscope to select sperm. This allows embryologists to look at the sperm in greater detail (including the nucleus which contains the sperm’s genetic material). Some studies suggest that using this technique selects better quality sperm and results in higher pregnancy rates and lower miscarriage rates compared to conventional ICSI.

The shape of the sperm (morphology) is important in diagnosing male fertility problems and in predicting fertilization and pregnancy outcomes – and studies have shown that selecting better shaped sperm does improve ICSI outcomes.

How does IMSI work?

In conventional ICSI, the embryologist selects the most normal-looking motile sperm using a microscope that magnifies the sample up to 400 times. IMSI is a variation of ICSI that uses a high power light microscope (enhanced by digital imaging) to magnify the sperm sample over 6000 times. This allows the embryologist to detect subtle structural alterations in sperm that a normal microscope could not detect. Sperm are then selected which have the most normally-shaped nuclei.

What are the success rates of IMSI?

Published studies on the use of IMSI have found that couples who underwent IMSI had higher pregnancy and birth rates and lower miscarriage rates than those who underwent conventional ICSI particularly for couples who had previously undergone two or more previously unsuccessful cycles.

How must does IMSI cost?

The use of IMSI is limited by the resources needed to carry out the technique. IMSI takes a minimum of 60 minutes and more often takes several hours. In addition, the technique involves special equipment to reach the necessary magnification, it has to be carried out by experienced embryologists trained in the specific technique, and this explains the significant extra cost of providing IMSI.

Can IMSI help me fall pregnant?

To find out whether IMSI can help you fall pregnant, please book an appointment with a Sims IVF fertility specialist or contact us.