The success of Assisted-Reproduction Techniques (ART) depends largely on the quality of the gametes (egg/oocyte and sperm) used in fertility treatment cycles.
The seminal quality is usually analysed using conventional seminal analysis. Due to its variability and low specificity, this is not particularly effective in diagnosing functional alterations or in detecting DNA fragmentation which can adversely affect the results of ART (Assisted-Reproduction Techniques).
Several studies have confirmed that DNA integrity is crucial for appropriate embryo development, implantation, and ongoing pregnancy. A high DNA fragmentation index in the sperm samples (due to alterations in the apoptotic processes, defects in DNA remodelling during spermatogenesis, and epididymal oxidative damage) affect the fertilisation rate and can also result in subsequent poor quality of embryos produced in ART (Assisted-Reproduction Techniques).
What is MACS?
MACS (Magnetic Activated Cell Sorting) is an immunomagnetic technique used in the ART (Assisted-Reproduction Technique) lab to identify and positively eliminate apoptotic cells from the semen ejaculate. It also reduces the proportion of sperm with fragmented DNA in the ejaculate thus producing a much better quality sperm sample to be used for ART procedures like IUI, IVF and ICSI.
This in turn leads to better fertilisation rates, a better quality of embryos, higher pregnancy rates and lesser chances of miscarriage.
When is MACS recommended?
This technique is recommended for:
- Patients who have a high level of DFI (DNA fragmentation index) in their sperm sample.
- Patients who have had a history of at least one IVF/ICSI cycle and have had a poor fertilisation rate, and poor embryo quality despite a good/average oocyte quality.
- Patients who have had repeated pregnancy loss with an unidentified cause despite all the tests.