In whom is fertilization with calcium ionophore performed?
The first stage of IVF treatment is the consultancy service for the mother and father-to-be, and the second stage is the process of obtaining the appropriate egg for fertilization by stimulating the ovaries of the mother with hormone medications. In this way, sufficient number and quality of eggs can be obtained from the mother-to-be.
In cases of infertility caused by the man’s sperm count, maturity and vitality, micro-injection, which is the process of injecting the best quality sperm obtained into the egg, is used. In this way, fertilization is performed with sperm that is not sufficient to fertilize the egg spontaneously. However, in cases where fertilization cannot be achieved by micro injection, fertilization is performed with calcium ionophore.
Because in order for fertilization to occur, the sperm must enter in the egg and release the enzyme in the head into the egg and thus the amount of calcium inside must increase. If the folfolipase substance C in the sperm is missing or absent, the egg cannot be fertilized. Because without phospholipase, the calcium content in the egg does not increase. Men with low sperm count, quality, maturity and structural defects in their sperm may not be able to obtain intact sperms to the extent that they can fertilize the egg.
Especially in men with consecutive IVF failures, problems in the number or quality of eggs, low viability and maturity in sperms, and structural disorders, fertilization problems may be experienced. In such cases, Mechanical, Electrical and Chemical Activation techniques are used to increase the activation of the egg.
What is mechanical activation?
One of the methods performed in case the fertilization process cannot occur during the fertilization stage of IVF treatment is mechanical activation. In mechanical activation, tiny holes are made on the egg membrane and an environment is created for calcium to pass into the egg through these holes. Thanks to this, fertilization can occur.
What is electrical activation?
In sperm problems where it is difficult to become pregnant with classical IVF treatment, fertilization is tried to be performed with micro injection technique. However, during the micro-injection process, the process of activating the eggs by giving them an electric current at low voltage and achieving fertilization in this way is called Electrical activation.
What is chemical activation?
Chemical activation is the process of using a number of chemicals that will increase the amount of calcium in the egg after the micro-injection process. The most commonly used chemical substance for fertilization in today’s IVF treatment is calcium ionophore. Calcium ionophore is very suitable for obtaining fertilization in cases where fertilization cannot be achieved by classical IVF treatment or micro-injection treatment alone.
In the process of fertilization with calcium ionophore, first of all, the microinjection process is performed, and then the eggs are soaked in the calcium ionophore for a few minutes. With this procedure, a healthy fertilization and therefore pregnancy can be achieved.
Who has fertilization failure in IVF treatment?
IVF treatment is performed to couples who cannot achieve pregnancy naturally. In this context, it can be said that those who apply for IVF treatment already have varying amounts of reproductive problems. As in many infertility problems, pregnancy can be achieved with IVF treatment in case of unsuccessful fertilization due to egg and sperm problems. So much so that in IVF treatment, if the man’s sperm is not enough to fertilize the egg, the sperm is injected directly into the egg with the micro-injection process.
In this way, when fertilization does not occur, the egg is kept in calcium ionophore for a few minutes with the sperm injected into it and fertilization is achieved. Since fertilization cannot be performed in approximately 3% of couples who undergo IVF treatment with micro injection, fertilization with calcium ionophore is performed. In some patients, although egg and sperm reserves are at the expected level, fertilization failures are experienced one after the other.
In such cases, the activation of the egg is provided in the laboratory environment and fertilization is achieved. Based on all these; It is possible to say that egg activation with calcium ionophore is appropriate for couples who do not have a baby for reasons related to sperm and egg.