Semen preparation or reconstitution techniques are used in assisted reproduction and IUI to separate sperm, which have a normal appearance and move spontaneously, from the fluid portion of the semen in which the sperm are suspended. It is known that white blood cells, bacteria and dead sperm in semen can produce oxygen radicals that can impair fertilization of the egg. The Sperm preparation procedure plays very crucial role in getting pregnant from an IUI, since the quality of the prepared specimen will ultimately determine the total number of motile sperm recovered. In order to achieve the best possible results, each preparation procedure needs to be "custom tailored" for each individual patient to maximize sperm recovery. This is based on a critical examination of all the factors and parameters in the "pre-wash" semen analysis. This determination takes a great deal of experience and expertise on the part of the technician handling the specimen. The preparation technique is very important.
Many couples need to have a sperm preparation done with IUI because the man's sperm count is too low for a good chance to achieve pregnancy by natural sex alone. This makes the type of technique used for the patient even more important to make sure every possible sperm is recovered. Without enough experience or proper technique, it is easy for the technologist to lose too many sperm in the process and diminish the chances for a pregnancy for the couple. The same tecchniques are applied whether one uses husband sperm or donor sperm therapeutic insemination or otherwise known as intrauterine insemination (IUI).
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