Sperm Wash

Sperm Washing is an important procedure which is completed before the artificial insemination. Human sperm contains some impurity like chemicals. These chemicals can affect future pregnancy and also can cause adverse reaction in the female’s uterus. Hence it is necessary to wash sperms in the laboratory before using it. Sperm Washing is a procedure in which individual’s sperms are separated from the semen. Then washed sperms are used in the artificial insemination procedure by using intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques. Sperm washing is a standard procedure in infertility treatment.

Dr Rita Modi is a highly experienced and proficient in the treatment of Infertility diseases. She is an IVF expert. Dr Rita Modi has performed lots of IVF procedures successfully.

Benefits of Sperm washing

  • Sperm washing is very helpful procedure for avoiding complications caused due to unhealthy sperms after the IVF treatment.
  • Sperm washing not only removes chemicals which can cause complications but also removes sperm with low motility or dead sperm.
  • Sperm washing is also used to decrease the risk of HIV transmission in HIV positive male because the infection is carried by the seminal fluid instead of sperm.
  • Sperm washing improves the chances of artificial insemination because after the sperm washing technique only healthier and faster sperms are remained.

Techniques of Sperm Washing

Sperm washing procedure is performed at laboratory. It is takes place after the sperm donation. Sperm washing mainly involves removing the seminal plasma, cryoprotectant and other impurities present in semen. Sperm washing can be performed on a single specimen before starting intrauterine insemination (IUI) therapy. Most common Sperm washing techniques include:

  • Basic Sperm Wash
  • Premium Wash
  • Swim-up Technique

Basic Sperm Wash

Basic Sperm technique uses dilution and centrifugation. A sperm wash solution containing antibiotics and protein supplements is added to the ejaculate. After repeated centrifugation, the seminal fluid is eliminated from the sample and the sperm cells are concentrated for insemination. This procedure takes 20 to 40 minutes.

Premium Wash

Premium wash method uses density gradient centrifugation technique to isolate and purify the motile sperm for obtaining sperm sample with a motility of at least 90% depending on the initial quality of the sample. Different concentrations of isolate (extremely dense fluid) are layered in a test tube in an ascending order of density (heaviest layer at the bottom). When a semen sample is placed upon the upper-most isolate layer and centrifuged then any debris, round cells, non-motile and poor quality sperm remain in the top layers. Only the motile sperm are collected at the bottom layer and are then concentrated for use in artificial insemination. This procedure takes about 1 hour. The premium sperm wash technique is excellent for fresh or frozen sperm and can help in the assessment of male fertility.

Swim –Up Technique

This technique uses sperm self-migration to obtain a sperm sample with a motility of at least 90%, depending on the initial quality of the sample. A layer of fresh media is gently added to the semen sample in such a way that most of the motile sperm comes out of the sample and upside into the added media. These harvested motile sperm are subsequently used for insemination. This procedure takes around 2 hours. Oligozoospermic men (men with low sperm counts), men with poorly motile sperm as well as men with male-factor infertility are not suitable candidates for this technique.

Sperm washing for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Sperm washing is part of the IUI treatment. After sexual intercourse, sperm travels a long way towards an egg. By the time sperm reaches the uterus, chemical called prostaglandins is naturally eliminated, because prostaglandin causes strong uterine contractions if it comes into contact with the uterus. In IUI treatment, sperm washing is necessary to eliminate prostaglandins as IUI involves a direct injection of sperm into the uterus. Healthy sperm can also separate from those with an abnormal shape, size or speed. A washed specimen can be safely stored for a couple of hours before artificial insemination.

Dr Rita Modi’s “IVF and Fertility clinic” is a well equipped with advanced medical facilities to provide world class treatment to cure all types of Infertility diseases.