In the year 1978 since the birth of the very first child that has been achieved via conception out of the human body, the principles, and ideas in relation to “in vitro” – which literally means ‘in glass’ – culture and fertilization have remained the same all throughout the years. It means that careful and thorough maintenance of an expertly controlled, sterile environment is kept in which the regular physiology of fertilization can be played out. Here, there will relatively be no disturbances to acquire healthy embryos that will be returned to the female’s body.

Keep in mind that the fertilization process is not considered as a hit and miss act with the arrival of assisted fertilization via micro-manipulation. In this day and age, embryos can easily go through micro-manipulation for cell biopsy which is necessary to determine their genetic status while also helping these implant via drilling deep into the outer shell – generally the process of assisted hatching.

Micro-manipulation in IVF Therapy

This procedure is considered as an inverted microscopic stage where performing minute processes at a microscopic level are present. These are done via joysticks that operate glass micro-tools, hydraulically.

Male Infertility

Micro-manipulation was first utilized in clinics for IVF’s assisted fertilization to treat the male factor infertility when the fertilization potential dropped in cases of poor quality sperm. However, this approach has evolved ultimately in the form of the development of the sperm-injection process that is called the ICSI or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. Sperm of any form, quality, as well as from any level of the reproductive tract of males can be utilized, considering that the sperm is still healthy even if it is motile.

When it comes to dead sperm, this may also achieve fertilization; however, the genetic material or DNA from this type of sperm can be too degenerate to actually form an embryo that can be used. Premature sperm coming from the epididymis or the testicles can be acquired and used with the ICSI procedure for men who do not have sperm in their semen, or better known as azoospermia. This condition is commonly due to an extremely low sperm production in the testicles (non-obstructive) or because of a blockage in the tract (obstructive).

However, there are certain instances when men can produce adequate amounts of sperm, yet these do not survive until ejaculation – a condition called necrozoospermia. So instead of utilizing non-viable sperm from a man’s ejaculate, a testicular biopsy will be the best choice and source of fresh and healthy sperm.

Micro-Manipulation Techniques

A micro-manipulation device which combines little glass tools linked to electric robot arms that are linked to a special microscopic device is called the micromanipulator. The tips of the micro-tools are usually smaller compared to the sperm’s head.


Even before the beginning of micro-manipulation, male factor patients who suffer from poor semen analysis were usually prohibited from taking IVF programs, fearing that the traditional IVF would fail. Yet today, even males whose sperm cannot be released from the testicles, or those who cannot produce mature sperm can easily be treated with certain types of surgery that is combined with micro-manipulation just to achieve successful fertilization. There are a lot of approaches that assist the fertilization process with micro-manipulation; however, only one method has been consistently successful and this is called the ICSI or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. This is a sperm injection which means that only one sperm will be set right inside the woman’s egg with the use of special micro-manipulation equipment. Furthermore, the ICSI has changed and improved the treatment of male factor infertility in a historical and medical sense.

• Assisted Hatching

Assisted hatching was created to further improve the process of embryo implantation; commonly, the embryo’s outer layer will start shedding about a week after the fertilization process and this is when the embryo begins to emerge in order to attach itself to the female’s uterus. The process of shedding is generally known as hatching, and while in some females, this becomes inhibited due to their maternal age or other unknown factors. For this procedure, a little cut or opening is created in the embryo’s outer layer before the transfer layer aids in the process – this is called assisted hatching.

For patients, the only possible way to determine the results of this procedure is by requesting for the clinic’s statistics coming from the procedure.

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