Cryptic sperm defects may be the cause for total fertilization failure in oocyte donor cycles.

Research paper by Maria M Goudakou, Alexandra A Kalogeraki, Ioannis I Matalliotakis, Yannis Y Panagiotidis, Giuseppe G Gullo, Yannis Y Prapas

Indexed on: 27 Dec '11Published on: 27 Dec '11Published in: Reproductive BioMedicine Online


In conventional IVF cycles with total fertilization failure, rescue intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) performed 24h after insemination has yielded poor results. However, when ICSI is used, total fertilization failure is a rare event. The aim of the present study is to investigate the degree of sperm contribution to fertilization failures using the egg-sharing model in oocyte donor cycles. The study included only the oocyte donor cycles of sibling oocytes with total fertilization failure in at least one of the matched recipients. Oocytes from 49 oocyte donor cycles were equally shared among 98 recipients undergoing conventional IVF. Due to total fertilization failure in half of the recipients, rescue ICSI was carried out. Compared with the conventional IVF only group, the rescue ICSI group had a lower pregnancy rate (30.61% versus 71.43%), clinical pregnancy rate (28.57% versus 67.35%) and ongoing pregnancy rate (28.57% versus 63.27%) (all P<0.01). Cryptic sperm defects in apparently normal spermatozoa may be the cause of total fertilization failure, indicating the need for simple routine tests to detect them.