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  • "Michaelmas" started this thread

Posts: 2

Reg: Dec 10th 2009

Location: London

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Thursday, December 10th 2009, 5:14pm

semen culture/ ICSI?

Would anyone know whether any potential infections could possibly still play a role with ICSI, or whether through ICSI any bacteriological factors are circumvented anyway?

Reason for asking: Is there any sense in doing a semen culture analysis after a zero-fertilisation ICSI result or not?

Many thanks,
Michaelmas (who wants to make sure that all remotely sensible tests have been done before my wife has to go through another cycle, and who received conflicting advice on this point from different people so far...)

Posts: 2,505

Reg: May 2nd 2007

Children: A boy and a girl, both living in London

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Thursday, December 10th 2009, 11:01pm

RE: semen culture/ ICSI?

Hi, and welcome to FZ.

To a degree, during ttc naturally, the cervical mucus has a cleaning effect on sperm as they swim through into and through it. However this same process, I believe, is not performed quite as effectively when sperm are swum through culture medium at IVF as it is by the mucus.

So that if there is an infective agent in the seminal fluid, this might then very well pass into the culture medium, which is unlikely to be not entirely bacteriostatic.

Whether this in turn could lead to a reduced or zero fertilisation rate is open to conjecture, and you would rarely need to discuss this with the embryologists in your unit, who should know their system well enough to judge this.

However there are so many other circumstances that seem to lead to zero fertilisation that it might be difficult to work this out. Clearly however, if there is any good reason to suspect that the semen specimen is infected, then it needs to be cultured and perhaps a prostatic massage specimen also, before proceeding with IVF. Again you would need to seek the advice of your unit who will have seen your specimens and have some thoughts on this.

That is about as firm an opinion as I can formulate, I'm afriad.

Good luck,


Infection can still play aThere is honest answer is probably no - t
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  • "Michaelmas" started this thread

Posts: 2

Reg: Dec 10th 2009

Location: London

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Friday, December 11th 2009, 11:00am

Paul, thanks very much for your reply. Our consultant at the fertility clinic more or less dismissed our question about any possible bacteriological issues, whereas my andrologist was rather open to taking a look into that direction. From your post I would assume that our clinic (the Lister, i.e., a pretty decent one) is probably closer to this, and therefore we can dismiss this as a possible factor. Maybe I'll still see whether I can get a semen culture test done, just to get 100% ease of mind on the bacteriological front.