The model applies when a woman's own eggs can be used for an advanced form of in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), in which a single sperm cell is injected into the female's egg. The model takes into consideration the woman's age, factors that cause the man's infertility, the choice of three different sperm retrieval methods and the choice of using fresh or frozen sperm.
"It has been difficult to predict whether pregnancy will be achieved for couples when different factors are at play. We designed this computational model to help the physician who is planning IVF/ICSI for patients. The physician may use the model to plan the best approach and counsel the patients appropriately," said Moshe Wald, M.D., assistant professor of urology at the University of Iowa.
To use the model, physicians complete an online form and receive an automatic assessment. The data submitted includes information about the man's infertility problem, such as whether it relates to sperm production or an obstruction that prevents sperm from being transported outwards. Certain factors cannot be changed, such as a woman's age.
Two of the methods for sperm retrieval included in this model require anaesthesia and must be done in an operating room; the other method can be done without anaesthesia in a regular clinic setting. The computational response can help experts decide which of the three methods is best to use for sperm retrieval in a particular setting, and whether it might make a difference if fresh or frozen surgically retrieved sperm is used. For example, if either type is likely to produce the same outcome, then the doctor may choose frozen, which is more convenient.
MEDICA.de; Source: University of Iowa