An overview of our methods

Unica has the most modern and effective methods for successful conception

Start to become familiar with them so you can discuss them in detail with your doctor at the clinic. We will gladly advise which one is the most suitable for you.

Conception methods

Conception is feasible via three fundamental directions, which are chosen according to the seriousness of a variety of factors that prevent natural conception. Our doctors will discuss your situation with you and together you will choose the procedure that gives you the best chance at resolving the problem.

IUI

Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination is the oldest and simplest method of infertility treatment. Conditions for use of this method are man’s healthy sperm cells, passable fallopian tubes, and proven ovulation in the woman.

More about the IUI method

IVF

In vitro fertilization (IVF)

This method is about highly specialized lab micromanipulation techniques when sperm in a special solution is added to the retrieved eggs in a special media. Sperm have to penetrate the individual eggs by themselves. It is a matter of coincidence which sperm penetrates which oocytes.

More about the IVF method

ICSI

Sperm injection (ICSI)

ICSI has become one of the most reliable and modern methods. During egg injection, we choose the highest quality sperm cell and inject it directly into an egg cytoplasm.

More about the ICSI method

Possible combinations of fertilization methods and enhancing methods

Special techniques of sperm selection IUI IVF ICSI
PICSI      
IMSI      
MACS      
Methods for a healthy embryo development monitoring
Embryoscope      
PGS / PGD      
Methods for the most successful embryo transfer into mother’s body
LAZT      
ISMT      
SPI      
Methods of sperm aspiration
LAISS      
MESA      
TESE      
Possible embryo cryopreservation for transfer in the future      

Enhancing methods

Special sperm selection techniques

  • Magnet for sperm cells (PICSI)  

    This technique leverages the fact egg surface contains hyaluronic acid and healthy sperm contain a developed receptor for this substance.

    This selection technique is specially developed for future sperm injection in the future. We use the fact that the egg is covered in a substance that contains hyaluronic acid and that the heads of healthy sperm contain a developed receptor that is attracted to this substance, hence the phrase “a magnet for sperm.” This magnet lures the healthiest sperm that are the most suitable for conception. When utilizing ICSI we choose sperm based on morphology and motility. PICSI allows for the selection of sperm with optimal genetic characteristics in addition to these criteria. PICSI is suitable for patients who have marginal sperm analysis values or for patients who have not previously conceived. It is also suitable for couples that have had low fertilization rates or sub-optimal embryo quality.

  • Microscope observation (IMSI)  

    The most important criteria for sperm quality is their morphology, i.e. the appearance. Therefore, a microscope, which can enlarge the sperm up to 6000 times, has been developed.

    A normal sperm moves progressively forward and it would disappear quickly from the field of vision at this enlargement. Special computer technique enables sperm recording, allowing more detailed evaluation of appearance. IMSI is suitable for patients whose sperm analysis shows high percentage of pathologic deformations, alternatively for patients with low quantities of motile sperm or exclusively immotile sperm. IMSI is also recommended in the event egg quality is low and above all in women with a history of unsuccessful cycles. Sperm cells selected via IMSI are then used in ICSI method – egg injection.

  • Magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS)  

    Magnetic-activated cell sorting is one of the state-of-the-art non-invasive methods of sperm selection. MACS method enables functional selection of living sperm cells without signs of apoptosis.

    MACS method utilizes the principle of magnetic labelling of defective sperm cells which are subsequently separated by means of a magnetic field. Magnetic nanoparticles detect, retain, and deplete the defective sperm cells from the sample.

    The method is based on selective separation of apoptotic cells, meaning such cells which are damaged and useless, and that would be naturally eliminated by an organism via a programmed cell death (apoptosis) due to their non-functional system. Normally used techniques may unfortunately not separate such cells. The MACS method is sensitive to the extent that it detects also early apoptotic cells: the cells that look healthily form the outside as they have non-damaged cell membrane while their content is non-functional. MACS method is specialized to eliminate exactly these cells.

    The remaining sperm cells have better values in comparison with the original sample in the following criteria: motility, morphology, and DNA fragmentation. The chance of conception when using these sperm cells is higher.

    We recommend utilizing this method in men who have: increased DNA fragmentation in sperm, genetically conditioned development defects in spermatogenesis; also in men who are exposed to free radicals, smoking, increased testicular temperature, chemical substances (e.g. particular medications, smoking), stress; or in men of higher age and after repetitively unsuccessful treatment cycles.

Methods for a healthy embryo development monitoring

  • Embryoscope  

    This method helps us to recognize and identify healthy embryos.

    The EmbryoScope monitors all embryos and captures the development and cultivation of the embryo with a microscopic camera which films continuously, 24 hours a day, for all five days of the cultivation. We assess the dynamics of the development phases. The probability of conception thus significantly rises in the first cycle.

    At the same time, the EmbryoScope creates the best possible conditions and environment for embryo development. Embryos are continuously observed and their environment is not intruded. The chance of conception thus increases in the first cycle, even if only a single embryo is transferred to a uterus (single embryo transfer limits the risk of multiple pregnancy).

  • Genetic diagnostic (PGS / PGD)  

    PGS – Preimplantation genetic screening means an aspiration of several trophectoderm cells from an embryo in the blastocyst stage; these cells are subsequently examined. The cell aspiration using the laser is performed very carefully. Thanks to the laser OCTAX NaviLaseTM it is possible to retrieve cells and perform genetic examination of embryos for all chromosomes; thus, increase success rate of the IVF cycle and decrease the risk of a possible miscarriage. The combination of the most modern laser type and embryo genetic examination of all chromosomes represents the most up-to-date and most effecting trend in IVF today.

    The PGD of so-called monogenic diseases is often the only chance to give birth to a healthy child for patients with inborn defects or carriers of genetic inborn disorders. Thanks to the laser OCTAX NaviLaseTM it is possible to retrieve the cells from the embryos and perform genetic examination targeted on specific genetic disease.

Methods for the most successful embryo transfer into mother’s body

  • Assisted hatching when using a non-contact laser (LAZT)  

    Laser Assisted Zone Thinning (LAZT) represents thinning of the embryo shell that helps the embryo implantation in the uterus.

    A human egg is covered in a shell which also covers a developing embryo. The embryo has to however “break free” from its covering before the implantation. This process is called the hatching. The assistance to break free will ease embryo´s contact with uterine cells in which the embryo is supposed to implant.

    The assisted hatching using the laser cannot harm to the embryo. Utilization of the non-contact laser allows, in contrast to the classical hatching, many advantages and does not intervene into the protective zone layer and inner environment of an embryo. This method is suitable for all couples because it is considered a supporting method that facilitates acceptance and implantation of a fertilized egg; thus it increases probability of successful conception.

  • Preparatory solution (ISMT)  

    The success rate may be increased if the uterine lining (endometrium) is prepared for the blastocyst (early stage of an embryo) acceptance using an „Implantation Support Medium“.

    This method can be used only along the prolonged cultivation. During a normally progressing pregnancy, the newly emerged embryo travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus where it attaches five days after ovulation. The embryo continuously “communicates“ with its surroundings along its way thanks to specific substances, which prepare the endometrium for the embryo acceptance in advance. Two or three days before the embryo transfer, a drop of this treatment will be painlessly delivered into the uterus. This way we will imitate the natural process of preparation. The transfer of five-day embryo into a uterus follows. This method increases the success rate of conceiving by up to 20%.

  • Seminal plasma injection (SPI)  

    Implantation of the embryo into the endometrium of the mother is a complicated process. In order to prevent a rejection of an embryo, which by one half contains a “strange” genetic material of the father, the maternal organism must build an immune tolerance for the embryo.

    This can be supported by seminal plasma – ejaculate without the sperm, which out of majority contains a secretion of seminal glands and prostate. Substances contained in the seminal plasma may positively influence inflammatory and other immunologic reactions and support embryo acceptance.

    Sperm is separated from the seminal plasma by a removal (via a centrifuge) of the ejaculate on the day of the ovarian puncture and egg retrieval. Approximately 0,1 ml of seminal plasma is painlessly transferred into the cervix via a thin catheter. Sperm is used for the fertilization of retrieved oocytes.

Methods of sperm aspiration

  • Laser-Assisted Immotile Sperm Selection (LAISS)  

    Laser-Assisted Immotile Sperm Selection (LAISS) represents a method that utilizes laser to identify living non-motile sperm cells.

    Thanks to the laser we have the opportunity to choose a living sperm cell among immotile sperm cells in cases when no motile sperm cells are found in the sperm sample. This is for example the case of serious asthenozoospermia or surgical sperm extraction via methods TESE and MESA.

  • Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)  

    This method is suitable for men whose epididymis have no sperm present.

    Similarly to MESA, TESE is performed under general anaesthesia by a urologist. This method of sperm extraction from the testis is performed in men in whose ejaculate and epididymis have no sperm present. When sperm are successfully extracted from the testis, they can also be used for the egg fertilization method ICSI (egg injection).

  • Aspiration of sperm from epididymis (MESA)  

    This method is suitable for men whose ejaculate contains no sperm.
    Sperm is aspired by siphoning from the epididymis and is further administered into a suitable oocyte via egg injection (ICSI). A Urologist performs the MESA method while the patient is under general anaesthesia.

    MESA is suitable for men with extremely low sperm count in ejaculate, sperm with abnormal morphology (shape), or with congenital sperm defects. It can help in cases where a man has had a vasectomy.

 

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