Sperm Processing for Insemination Increases Chances for Conception
Sperm processing for insemination is a procedure performed at our Omaha, NE, practice as an integral preparatory step for intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). Also known as sperm washing, this procedure removes seminal fluid and cellular debris to enhance the fertilizing capacity of the sperm. At Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, our fertility specialists use this procedure to provide better chances of conception.
Importance of Sperm Processing
Sperm processing for insemination is a crucial step during IVF and IUI, as the chemicals found in natural sperm may cause an unwanted reaction in the uterus, decreasing your chances for conception. During sperm processing, the semen sample is washed through a series of methods at our laboratory by skilled technicians in order to separate and remove unnecessary seminal fluid, white blood cells, and cellular debris. Candidates for this procedure include patients who have been diagnosed with male factor infertility due to low sperm mobility and poor sperm count.
During sperm processing, the semen sample is washed through a series of methods at our laboratory by skilled technicians in order to separate out unnecessary seminal fluid, white blood cells, and cellular debris.
In addition, sperm processing removes prostaglandins, lipid compounds that can cause cramping and infection in the uterus. This procedure is a proven method for increasing your chances for pregnancy when undergoing infertility treatments at Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine.
Methods of Sperm Processing
There are three different methods of sperm processing for insemination that the semen sample can undergo in order to create the most purified sample. Based on sperm analysis and quality, your fertility specialist will work with our fertility lab to determine the technique best suited for insemination.
Basic Wash: Also known as buffered washing, this technique combines dilution and centrifugation to remove seminal plasma when the sperm has optimal parameters. During this procedure, a solution containing antibiotics and protein supplements is added to the semen sample within 30 minutes after ejaculation. Once the solvent is added, the sample will undergo repeated centrifugation to create highly concentrated sperm. The procedure generally takes about 20 to 40 minutes.
Premium Wash: This technique uses density gradient separation to locate the most motile, viable, and morphologically normal sperm for patients who have been diagnosed with male factor infertility. During this technique, the sperm are separated using two layers of extremely dense fluid (isolate) to separate the most motile sperm from the seminal fluid in a sterile test tube. This technique also filters out any cellular debris and contaminants that could hinder motility. Sperm that survive to the bottom layer after several rounds of centrifugation will be used for insemination. This procedure typically takes about an hour and can be used on fresh or frozen semen.
Swim-Up Method: During this technique, the semen sample is mixed with a layer of sperm-washing medium in a sterile test tube in order to obtain the most viable sperm. This technique depends on sperm self-migration, in which the most motile sperm will swim up through the layered mixture. This technique is not recommended for patients with male factor infertility, low sperm counts, or poor sperm mobility. In most cases, the procedure can be completed in two hours. Once harvested, the motile sperm will be used for insemination.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility or male factor infertility, but are interested in expanding your family, you may benefit greatly from one of our highly successful fertility treatments, such as IUI or IVF. Contact our practice today to meet with one of our highly qualified fertility specialists.